Sustainability as Intergenerational Fairness: Efficiency, Uncertainty, and Numerical Methods

Posted: 11 Sep 2000

See all articles by Richard T. Woodward

Richard T. Woodward

Texas A&M University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Abstract

This paper presents an economic model of sustainability defined as intergenerational fairness. Assuming that intergenerational fairness is an obligation of each generation, a recursive optimization problem is obtained. The problem has the advantage that uncertainty can readily be incorporated in the model and it can be solved numerically for a wide range of specifications. The possibility of trade-offs between efficiency and sustainability are discussed. Under plausible conditions, it is shown that a sustainability obligation is met only if there is the expectation of economic growth.

JEL Classification: Q20, Q30

Suggested Citation

Woodward, Richard T., Sustainability as Intergenerational Fairness: Efficiency, Uncertainty, and Numerical Methods. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 82, Issue 3, August 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235958

Richard T. Woodward (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States
(409) 845-5864 (Phone)

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