An Approach to the Welfare Analysis of Inter-Temporal Resource Alloca¬tion by Jerome Rothenberg, (Lecture Series No. 22). Athens: Center of Planning and Economic Research, 1967. pp.75.

Gunnar Floystad

Abstract


Rothenberg's book contains three lectures read at the Center
of Planning and Economic Research in Athens. The author starts by
arguing that the problem of welfare comparisons over considerable time
intervals is simply that the populations being compared in the two
periods are not unchanged. The normative criteria economists usually use
for making welfare comparisons an unchanging population, i.e., each
individual must be present in the various situa¬tions that are compared.
The author, by contrast, intends to examine situations where only some
individuals are present in one of the two situations com¬pared. His
treatment of the linkage between two situations over time is based on
two key assumptions: i) the population composition changes almost
conti¬nuously, ii) the new additions to the population are familiarly
linked to the exist¬ing members. The author concludes that under certain
simplifying assumptions— e.g., that the utility function of each
individual remains unchanged through life and that parents act on behalf
of their heirs—no important problem of intergenerational comparability
arises except where intertemporal externalities are involved.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v7i4pp.547-549

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