Journal Article


Social Time Preference Revisited

Published on 4 August 2008

The article reconsiders the implications of the choice of pure social time preference for intergenerational equity in the presence of a time-consistent utilitarian social welfare criterion. The analytic framework is a setting with overlapping generations, lifetime uncertainty, population growth and technical progress. The analysis identifies upper and lower bounds for the feasible range of social discount rates and draws a corresponding distinction between “gerontocratic” and “Stalinist” optimal plans. The paper corrects a number of inaccurate propositions in a related earlier contribution by Marini and Scaramozzino (2000) to this journal.


Dirk Willenbockel

Research Fellow

Publication details

Willenbockel, D.
Journal of Population Economics, volume 21, issue 3


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