SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
The limit of discounted utilitarianism
() and Mark Voorneveld
Abstract: This paper presents an infinite-horizon version of
intergenerational utilitarianism. By studying discounted utilitarianism as
the discount factor tends to one, we obtain a new welfare criterion:
limit-discounted utilitarianism (LDU). We show that LDU meets standard
assumptions of efficiency, equity, and interpersonal comparability, but
allows us to compare more pairs of utility streams than commonly-used
utilitarian criteria, including the overtaking criterion and the
catching-up criterion. We also introduce a principle of compensation for
postponements of utility streams and use it to characterize the LDU
criterion on a restricted domain.
Keywords: utilitarianism; intergenerational equity; time preference; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D63; D70; D90; (follow links to similar papers)
16 pages, March 17, 2014, Revised February 1, 2017
Before downloading any of the electronic versions below
you should read our statement on
for viewing Postscript files and the
Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.
Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Helena Lundin ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ()
or Helena Lundin ().
Design Joakim Ekebom