Working Paper BETA #2004-15

Download working-paper

Title : Intergenerational Altruism, Sustainable Development and Intergenerational Equity with Heterogeneous Agents

Author(s) : Alban Verchère

Abstract : In this article, we study the question of intergenerational equity in a framework that displays two kinds of agents distinguished by their non dynastic intergenerational altruism. The more altruist agents regarding the transmitted environment are qualified of ecologists, whereas the others, less altruists, are then qualified of consumerists. This heterogeneity integrated in a sustainable development model leads to a rather counter-intuitive or paradoxical result as compared with the homogeneous agents case: environmental quality and utility of each group equally record a U-shape evolution, but the favorable u-turn intervenes later in the heterogeneous case than when only consumerists (or less altruist agents) compound the economy. Interpreting this result in terms of free-riding give us the opportunity to reinterpret the question of intergenerational inequity that would have been excluded in a model with only one kind of altruist agents.

Key-words : Intergenerational Altruism, Heterogeneity, Sustainable Development, Intergenerational Equity

JEL Classification : O13, Q20