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How to reconcile economics and ecology?

“A Gathering of Present and Future Generations”Researchers, who guide Toulouse School of Economicsto analyze “How to Design and Evaluate a Just Climate Policy” And “How to define the common good in such a context”. He asks himself on the current course, which way “Determine a level of well-being of an individual, when this individual is exposed to risk?”

In an exciting the interview which you can read on the Collège de France website, Christian Gollier Explains his interpretation of a sustainable common future thus:

“The only way we can effectively combat global warming is by making polluters pay for environmental damage,” their analysis says. Individual interests can be incorporated into collective interests, and encourage everyone to integrate their influence on the common good into their choices.

In the previous lesson he explained that there were two methods of assigning carbon values, “Today and the Future” : Cost-benefit approach and cost-effectiveness approach. Beyond various assumptions or arbitrage, he underlined that we are not doing enough and that everyone, we are all playing Russian Roulette in the face of the challenge of global warming.

The problem of intergenerational inequality

L‘Interview With his series on the Collège de France, Christian Gaulier explains this very tellingly: “You have to compare the cost of the effort with the social benefits generated by the effort, when it is spread over decades and centuries. The fact is that we all tend to value the present more than the future. Take the marshmallow experiment, in which a child is given a Housekeeping involves putting a marshmallow on the table while being told we’ll be back in fifteen minutes, and a second if the marshmallow is still there. Most children don’t wait. Which tells us that people have a preference for the present, for immediate consumption. . This is also reflected in financial markets, which undervalue income more distant in time. Future benefits must be greater than immediate costs to trigger investment decisions.”.

“Financial markets, the economist continues, punish the future for a more fundamental reason: In a growing world, where future GDP is greater than current GDP, investing is asking the poor (current generations) to invest in order. Creating benefits for the rich (future generations). Investing in the future therefore means increasing intergenerational inequality. If we believe in this growth, and if we abhor inequality, it is morally problematic to sacrifice purchasing power today to improve the future. Yet for an investment to be desirable, the return on this investment must be must be high enough to offset the impact. Growth, so the investment decision has more – positive returns – and less – inequality growth -, the return well-being interg must be more than compensation for the negative impact generation of inequality growth that this investment generates. This is a key subject”.

So what is the utilitarian approach to the concept of intergenerational welfare? In this course, Christian Gollier proposes analysis “How, in a growing world, investment increases intergenerational inequality, which justifies a positive discount rate in the evaluation of public policies”..

We won the College de France January 26, 2022For Christian Gollier’s course, today, “Towards a Principle of Our Responsibility to Future Generations”.


Long-term discount rates presented by Christian Gaulier at the Collège de France
Long-term discount rates presented by Christian Gaulier at the Collège de France

– C. Gollier / College de France

Christian Gaulier famously expressed:

  • Between the End of the Month and the End of the World: The Economics of Our Responsibility to Humanity, fairedJune 2022
  • Weather at the end of the month, poof2019
  • Responsible finance for a better society, poof2019
  • Ethical asset valuation and the good society, Columbia University Press2017
  • Precautionary principleCo-written with Nicolas de Sadeleer and François Ewald, poof2013
  • Clash of generations? Loans, Pensions, Dependencies… Co-written with Patrick Artas, Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Antoine Bozio, André Masson, Eric Maurin, Xavier Timbeau, Louis Chauvel, Louis Arondel, discovery2010
  • Climate by Month: The Costs of Environmental Change, Alpha, will be published on September 7, 2022

Documents referred to by Christian Gollier in his course are accessible under the headings, Curves, References support On the College de France website.

l’the interview “What are we prepared to pay today to reduce the damage that will occur two centuries from now?”, by Christian Gaulier, can be found in the “Maintenance” section of the Collège de France website.

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