EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A MIXED BENTHAM-RAWLS CRITERION FOR INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY: THEORY AND IMPLICATIONS

Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado () and Ngo Long

Departmental Working Papers from McGill University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Ranking development programs using integrals of discounted utilities can yield drastic consequences that offend our sense of justice. New alternative social welfare criteria should be considered. A reaction to discounted utilitarianism is to moderate its effects by adding to the social welfare function a second term that takes seriously the welfare of the generations that live in the far distant future. Chichilnisky proposes a social welfare function that has two desirable properties: (i) non-dictatorship of the present, and (ii) non-dictatorship of the future. However, in many economic models, there exists no optimal path under the Chichilnisky criterion. We introduce a third desideratum: "non-dictatorship of the least advantaged," and propose a new welfare criterion that is morally compelling. It is a weighted average of two terms: (a) the sum of discounted utilities, and (b) the utility level of the least advantaged generation. We derive necessary conditions to characterize growth paths that satisfy our criterion, and show that in some models with familiar dynamic specifications, an optimal path exists and displays appealing characteristics.

JEL-codes: D63 H43 O21 Q20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2007-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-upt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/amixedbentham.pdf (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 403 Forbidden (http://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/amixedbentham.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> https://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/amixedbentham.pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: A mixed Bentham-Rawls criterion for intergenerational equity: Theory and implications (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: A Mixed Bentham-Rawls Criterion for Intergenerational Equity: Theory and Implications (2007) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2007-03

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Departmental Working Papers from McGill University, Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Shama Rangwala ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).

 
Page updated 2021-01-25
Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2007-03