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Article
Long-term environmental problems and strategic intergenerational transfers
Environmental and Resource Economics (2013)
  • Timo Goeschl
  • Daniel Heyen
  • Juan B Moreno-Cruz, University of Calgary
Abstract

The impacts of long-lived stock pollutants and the measures supposed to address them link current and future generations. Altruism towards successor generations is a prerequisite for resolving the resulting inter-generational equity issues. Preference asymmetry and imperfect altruism introduce strategic conflicts between generations. Here, a current generation decides on a combination of abatement and whether to provide an imperfect backstop. The future generation decides whether to use the backstop or not. We identify three outcomes: (1) Technology denial, in which the current generation deliberately rejects the imperfect backstop to avoid misuse by the future generation. (2) Under-abatement, in which the current generation provides the backstop but reduces abatement activities; and (3) Over-abatement, in which the current generation provides the backstop but increases abatement activities. The outcome depends non-trivially on the assessment of collateral damages of the future generation. Uncertainty over future preferences renders technology denial more likely.

Keywords
  • Intergenerational Conflict,
  • Aultruism,
  • Asymmetric Preferences
Publication Date
November, 2013
Citation Information
Timo Goeschl, Daniel Heyen and Juan B Moreno-Cruz. "Long-term environmental problems and strategic intergenerational transfers" Environmental and Resource Economics Vol. 56 Iss. 1 (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/morenocruz/11/