Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 921–940 | Cite as

Sustainability when capital management has stochastic consequences

  • Geir B. Asheim
  • Kjell Arne Brekke


Sustainability is usually defined as a requirement of each generation to manage its stocks of man-made and natural capital such that the utility that it ensures itself can be shared by all future generations. Here we extend this definition to the case where capital management does not have deterministic consequences. A characterization is offered where the sustainability of one generation's behavior can be determined by comparing its utility with the utility of the succeeding generation, provided that the latter behaves in a sustainable manner. The properties of the definition are investigated and illustrated.


Future Generation Sustainable Manner Natural Capital Stochastic Consequence Deterministic Consequence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geir B. Asheim
    • 1
  • Kjell Arne Brekke
    • 2
  1. 1. Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway (e-mail:
  2. 2. Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1116, Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway (e-mail:

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