Intergenerational Equity in a Model of Endogenous Growth

  • Claude d’Aspremont
  • Louis-André Gérard-Varet
  • Philippe Michel
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The main difficulties in trying to derive and apply social welfare criteria, such as utilitarianism or maximin, to the problem of intergenerational justice come from time-irreversibility. Future generations cannot compensate for a sacrifice made by earlier ones, or ask for just sharing of past resources that were wasted. There is a possible altruistic approach to intergenerational equity. However, it requires that the altruism of future generations be secured. In any case, intergenerational equity is not only a matter of gifts from present to future generations. It is also an issue of ‘retro-gifts’ which have to be socially contracted. In economic terms, this is translated into the problem of finding a just rate of savings, taking into account both the well-being of the present generation and the productivity of capital for future generations and considering the impossibility of ex post transfers from future generations to present ones.


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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude d’Aspremont
    • 1
  • Louis-André Gérard-Varet
    • 2
  • Philippe Michel
    • 3
  1. 1.CORECatholic University of LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced Studies in the Social SciencesMarseillesFrance
  3. 3.University of the MediterraneanMarseillesFrance

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