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Expected net present value, expected net future value, and the Ramsey rule

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  • Gollier, Christian

Abstract

Weitzman [1] showed that when future interest rates are uncertain, using the expected net present value implies a term structure of discount rates that is decreasing to the smallest possible interest rate. On the contrary, using the expected net future value criteria implies an increasing term structure of discount rates up to the largest possible interest rate. We reconcile the two approaches by introducing risk aversion and utility maximization. We show that if the aggregate consumption path is optimized and made flexible to news about future interest rates, the two criteria are equivalent. Moreover, they are also equivalent to the Ramsey rule extended to uncertainty.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 59 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 142-148

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:2:p:142-148

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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Keywords: Discount rate Ramsey rule Climate change Cost-benefit analysis;

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References

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  1. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Why the Far-Distant Future Should Be Discounted at Its Lowest Possible Rate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 201-208, November.
  2. GOLLIER Christian, 2008. "Discounting with fat-tailed economic growth," LERNA Working Papers 08.19.263, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  3. Christian Gollier & Phoebe Koundouri & Theologos Pantelidis, 2008. "Declining discount rates: Economic justifications and implications for long-run policy," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 757-795, October.
  4. Ekaterini Panopoulou & Ben Groom & Phoebe Koundouri & Theologos Pantelidis, 2004. "An Econometric Approach To Estimating Long-Run Discount Rates," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 70, Royal Economic Society.
  5. Gollier, Christian, 2004. "The Consumption-Based Determinants of the Term Structure of Discount Rates," IDEI Working Papers 296, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Wolfgang Buchholz & Jan Schumacher, 2008. "Discounting the Long-Distant Future: A Simple Explanation for the Weitzman-Gollier-Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 2357, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Gollier, Christian, 2004. "Maximizing the expected net future value as an alternative strategy to gamma discounting," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 85-89, June.
  8. Hepburn, Cameron & Groom, Ben, 2007. "Gamma discounting and expected net future value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 99-109, January.
  9. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Discounting an uncertain future," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 149-166, August.
  10. Gollier, Christian, 2009. "Should We Discount the Far-Distant Future at Its Lowest Possible Rate?," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-7, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Discounting the distant future: how much do uncertain rates increase valuations?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 52-71, July.
  12. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Gamma Discounting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1843, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Freeman, Mark C., 2009. "Yes, we should discount the far-distant future at its lowest possible rate: a resolution of the Weitzman-Gollier puzzle," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-42, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Gollier, Christian & Weitzman, Martin L., 2010. "How should the distant future be discounted when discount rates are uncertain?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 350-353, June.
  3. Christophe Gouel & Sébastien Jean, 2012. "Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country," Working Papers 2012-01, CEPII research center.
  4. Traeger, Christian P., 2012. "What’s the Rate? Disentangling the Weitzman and the Gollier Effect," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1121, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  5. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  6. Nicole El Karoui & Mohamed Mrad & Caroline Hillairet, 2014. "Ramsey Rule with Progressive utility and Long Term Affine Yields Curves," Working Papers hal-00974831, HAL.
  7. Gollier, Christian, 2009. "Should We Discount the Far-Distant Future at Its Lowest Possible Rate?," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-7, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. Nicole El Karoui & Mohamed Mrad & Caroline Hillairet, 2014. "Ramsey Rule with Progressive utility and Long Term Affine Yields Curves," Papers 1404.1913, arXiv.org.
  9. Nicole El Karoui & Caroline Hillairet & Mohamed Mrad, 2014. "Ramsey Rule with Progressive Utility in Long Term Yield Curves Modeling," Papers 1404.1895, arXiv.org.
  10. Nicole El Karoui & Caroline Hillairet & Mohamed Mrad, 2014. "Ramsey Rule with Progressive Utility in Long Term Yield Curves Modeling," Working Papers hal-00974815, HAL.
  11. Orlando Gomes & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Tiago Neves Sequeira, 2012. "Exponential Discounting Bias," Working Papers Series 2 12-05, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
  12. Cucchiella, Federica & D’Adamo, Idiano, 2012. "Feasibility study of developing photovoltaic power projects in Italy: An integrated approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 1562-1576.
  13. Traeger, Christian P., 2013. "Discounting under uncertainty: Disentangling the Weitzman and the Gollier effect," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 573-582.
  14. Freeman, Mark C., 2010. "Yes, we should discount the far-distant future at its lowest possible rate: A resolution of the Weitzman-Gollier puzzle," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 4(13), pages 1-21.

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