The Impacts of Other-Regarding Preferences and Ethical Choice on Environmental Outcomes: A Review of the Literature

This paper reviews the literature concerning the impacts of other-regarding preferences and ethical choice on environmental outcomes when agents behave strategically. We consider two types of other-regarding preferences: (i) envy or status concern, (ii) altruism and inequality aversion. We contrast the preference-based approach with the ethical approach in which some choices are made on ethical ground and thus are not necessarily utility-maximizing. Models exhibiting other-regarding preferences do not yield unambiguous results concerning the effects of strategic behavior on the environment. In contrast, models in which choices are motivated by Kantian ethics display more robust results.
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