Discounting and ideas of intergenerational equity and sustainability
AbstractSome aspects of discounting of infinite streams of economic quantities (consumption, saving, utility) are considered. The main points of the paper may be summarized as follows. The philosophy of discounting concerns methods of evaluation and/or comparison of multi-period phenomena and processes. The techniques applied (numerical, analytical) may equalize the gravity of subsequent generations or privilege certain generations rather than other ones. They can â€“ to some extent â€“ influence quality of life and the chances of survival in future generations. These (quite natural) connections between discounting and intergenerational justice and sustainability have been pointed out. Systems of axioms for â€œethicalâ€ and â€œsustainableâ€ preferences are presented, together with some related (sub)disciplines. Inspirations derived mainly from psychology suggest the modification of the geometric discounting paradigm by slowing down the convergence of discount factors to zero. It should be pointed out that such â€œheavy tailedâ€ discounting has proved to be useful (and become strongly recommended) for evaluation of a variety of long-time horizon undertakings. Some examples of non-classical discounting rules are given. Finally, the authorâ€™s proposal of modeling the duration of the world as a Poisson random variable has been formulated.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wroclaw University of Technology, Institute of Organization and Management in its journal Operations Research and Decisions.
Volume (Year): 1 (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
discounting; evaluation; preferences; equity; efficiency; sustainable development; present; future;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bleichrodt, Han & Rohde, Kirsten I.M. & Wakker, Peter P., 2009. "Non-hyperbolic time inconsistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 27-38, May.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2006.
"Dilemmas of an Economic Theorist,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 865-883, 07.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "Dilemmas of An Economic Theorist," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 354, Econometric Society.
- Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "Dilemmas of an Economic Theorist," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 661, Econometric Society.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1995.
"An axiomatic approach to sustainable development,"
8609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
- Peter Fishburn & Ward Edwards, 1997. "Discount-neutral utility models for denumerable time streams," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 139-166, September.
- Read, Daniel, 2001. " Is Time-Discounting Hyperbolic or Subadditive?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 5-32, July.
- GOLLIER Christian, 2008.
"Discounting with fat-tailed economic growth,"
LERNA Working Papers
08.19.263, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
- Maria Saez-Marti & Jorgen W. Weibull, 2005.
"Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers,"
NajEcon Working Paper Reviews
- Saez-Marti, Maria & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2005. "Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 254-266, June.
- Quiggin, John & Horowitz, John, 1995. "Time and Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 37-55, January.
- Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2009.
"Intergenerational justice when future worlds are uncertain,"
Economics Working Papers
1178, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2010.
- Llavador, Humberto & Roemer, John E. & Silvestre, Joaquim, 2010. "Intergenerational justice when future worlds are uncertain," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 728-761, September.
- Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2009. "Intergenerational Justice when Future Worlds Are Uncertain," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1692, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Joaquim Silvestre & Joaquim Silvestre & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2009. "“Intergenerational justice when future worlds are uncertain”," Working Papers 94, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2010. "Intergenerational Justice When Future Worlds are Uncertain," Working Papers 473, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
- Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Decreasing Impatience: A Criterion for Non-stationary Time Preference and "Hyperbolic" Discounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 511-532, October.
- 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.
- Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Discounting the Distant Future: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations?," Discussion Papers dp-00-45, Resources For the Future.
- Geir B. Asheim & Tapan Mitra, 2009.
"Sustainability and Discounted Utilitarianism in Models of Economic Growth,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2521, CESifo Group Munich.
- Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan, 2010. "Sustainability and discounted utilitarianism in models of economic growth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 148-169, March.
- Antoine Bommier & Stéphane Zuber, 2008. "Can preferences for catastrophe avoidance reconcile social discounting with intergenerational equity?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 415-434, October.
- Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
- Van Liedekerke, Luc & Lauwers, Luc, 1997. "Sacrificing the Patrol: Utilitarianism, Future Generations and Infinity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 159-174, October.
- Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Decreasing absolute risk aversion and utility indices derived from cake-eating problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 245-264, April.
- 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.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Piotr Wawrzynowski).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.