January 18, 2009

Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth

by Geir B. Asheim and Tapan Mitra

- Discounted utilitarianism treats generations unequally and leads to seemingly unappealing consequences in some models of economic growth. Instead, this paper presents and applies sustainable discounted utilitarianism (SDU). SDU respects the interests of future generations and resolves intergenerational conflicts by imposing on discounted utilitarianism that the evaluation be insensitive to the interests of the present generation if the present is better off than the future.

Asheim, G.B. and T. Mitra (2009). "Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth." CESifo Working Paper No. 2521, Jan 2009.