Title: Balancing efficiency and equity in long-run decision-making

Authors: Talbot Page

Addresses: Department of Economics, Box B, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA

Abstract: The idea of this paper is that ||intergenerational majority rule voting|| can sometimes be both efficient and equitable, as formalised by an intergenerational application of the Arrow axioms. A decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency to require carbon filtration of drinking water on the grounds of intergenerational equity provides an intuitive example of ||intergenerational majority rule voting||. The normative principle of intergenerational equity is, intuitively, similar to Jefferson|s ||The world belongs in usufruct to the living|| and the basis of the Supreme Court decision in Pennsylvania v. Planned Parenthood, which was to preserve the basic institutional structure of the ||rule of law|| in especially divisive cases.

Keywords: cost–benefit analysis; intergenerational efficiency; intergenerational fairness; stationarity; voting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2003.004223

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2003 Vol.6 No.1, pp.70 - 86

Available online: 05 Apr 2004 *

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