Yes, we should discount the far-distant future at its lowest possible rate: A resolution of the Weitzman-Gollier puzzle
AbstractIn this paper the author proves that the Expected Net Future Value (ENFV) criterion can lead a risk neutral social planner to reject projects that increase expected utility. By contrast, the Expected Net Present Value (ENPV) rule correctly identifies the economic value of the project. While the ENFV increases with uncertainty over future interest rates, the expected utility decreases because of the planner's desire to smooth consumption across time. This paper therefore shows that Weitzman (1998) is 'right' and that, within his economy, the far-distant future should be discounted at its lowest possible rate. --
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.
Volume (Year): 4 (2010)
Issue (Month): 13 ()
Discount rates; term structure; capital budgeting; interest rate uncertainty; environmental planning;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
- Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
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.:
- Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 2000.
"Discounting the Distant Future: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations?,"
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- 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.
- 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.
- Eric Jacquier & Alex Kane & Alan J. Marcus, 2005. "Optimal Estimation of the Risk Premium for the Long Run and Asset Allocation: A Case of Compounded Estimation Risk," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 3(1), pages 37-55.
- Traeger, Christian P., 2012.
"What's the rate? Disentangling the Weitzman and the Gollier effect,"
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series
qt88x3d1vw, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- 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.
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