Working Paper Number

2010-13

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

We analyse the issue of justice in the allocation of resources across generations. Our starting point is that if all generations have a claim to natural resources, then each generation should be entitled to exercise veto power on the unpalatable choices of the other generations. We analyse this situation as one of bargaining à la Rubinstein, Safra and Thomson [15], which incorporates a notion of justice as mutual advantage, rather than justice as impartiality, as in the Kantian-Rawlsian tradition. Our framework captures some key aspects of the interaction between isolated agents in a Hobbesian state of nature, in which agents are not placed behind a veil of ignorance, but none of them is sufficiently strong to impose their will against all others (state of war of all against all). We analyse some new social welfare relations emerging from this Hobbesian framework.

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