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.
- Intergenerational Conflict,
- Asymmetric Preferences
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/morenocruz/11/