Intertemporal Welfare Economics and the Environment
Geoffrey M. Heal
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS, Karl-Goran Maler, Jeffrey Vincent, eds., Elsevier, 2002
I review the complex welare economic issues that arise in environmental decision-making over very long periods of time, as in the case of climate change, biodiversity loss and nuclear waste disposal. I also consider the questions that have to be resolved in choosing a discount rate to apply to very long-run projects and indicate how such rates should be chosen.
Keywords: Environment, welare economics, intergenerational equity, discount rate, climate change, biodiversity, Rawls, utilitarianism
JEL Classification: C43, D60, H00, I30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 8, 2002
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