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Evaluations of infinite utility streams: Pareto-efficient and egalitarian axiomatics

Alcantud, José Carlos R. and García-Sanz, María D. (2010): Evaluations of infinite utility streams: Pareto-efficient and egalitarian axiomatics.


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Two factors influence the resolution of the conflict among infinite generations: the consistency/ethical postulates requested; and the utilities that each generation can possess. We contribute to qualifying the Basu-Mitra approach to this problem, that concerns social welfare functions. Firstly we examine efficiency and strengthened forms of Hammond Equity for the Future both when the feasible utilities are [0,1] and natural numbers. This complements Banerjee (Economics Letters, 2006) and Alcantud and Garcia- Sanz (Economics Letters, 2010). Secondly, we analyze the possibility of combining Pareto-efficiency and the spirit of the Hammond Equity principle for both specfications of the feasible utilities. Here the case study is richer since we analyze four different versions of this principle. We conclude that the Anonymity, Hammond Equity for the Future, and Hammond Equity ethics can be combined with weak specifications of the Pareto postulate at a time even through explicit social welfare functions.

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