An axiomatic approach to intergenerational equity

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15 Citations (Scopus)


We present a set of axioms in order to capture the concept of equity among an infinite number of generations. There are two ethical considerations: One is to treat every generation equally and the other is to respect distributive fairness among generations. We find two opposite results. In Theorem 1, we show that there exists a preference ordering satisfying anonymity, strong distributive fairness semiconvexity, and strong monotonicity. However, in Theorem 2, we show that there exists no binary relation satisfying anonymity, distributive fairness semiconvexity, and sup norm continuity. We also clarify logical relations between these axioms and non-dictatorship axioms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Choice and Welfare
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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