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Document de travail 2017-4

Sustainability of an economy relying on two reproducible assets

Robert D. Cairns, Stellio Del campo et Vincent Martinet

Résumé :

Evaluating the sustainability of a society requires a system of shadow or accounting values derived from the sustainability objective. As a first step toward the derivation of such shadow values for a maximin objective, this paper studies an economy composed of two reproducible assets, each producing one of two consumption goods. The effect of the substitutability between goods in utility is studied by postulating, in turn, neoclassical diminishing marginal substitutability, perfect substitutability and perfect complementarity. The degree of substitutability has strong effects on the maximin solution, affecting the regularity or non-regularity of the program, and on the accounting values. This has important consequences for the computation of genuine savings and the sustainability prospects of future generations.

Classification JEL : O44; Q56.

Mots-clés : sustainable development; maximin; sustainability accounting; substitutability.

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