What's the rate? Disentangling the Weitzman and the Gollier effect
AbstractThe uncertainty of future economic development affects the term structure of discount rates and, thus, the intertemporal weights that are tobe used in cost benefit analysis. The U.K. and France have recently adopteda falling term structure to incorporate uncertainty and the U.S. is consideringa similar step. A series of publications discusses the following concern: Aseemingly analogous argument used to justify falling discount rates can alsobe used to justify increasing discount rates. We show that increasing anddecreasing discount rates mean different things, can coexist, are created bydifferent channels through which risk affects evaluation, and have the samequalitative effect of making long-term payoffs more attractive.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt88x3d1vw.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
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Life Sciences; Social and Behavioral Sciences; benefit cost analysis; discounting; term structure; uncertainty; Weitzman-Gollier puzzle;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
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.:
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IDEI Working Papers
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CESifo Working Paper Series
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- GOLLIER Christian, 2008. "Expected net present value, expected net future value, and the Ramsey rule," LERNA Working Papers 08.29.273, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
- Gollier, Christian & Weitzman, Martin, 2009.
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IDEI Working Papers
588, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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- Christian Gollier & Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "How Should the Distant Future be Discounted when Discount Rates are Uncertain?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2863, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
- 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.
- William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
- 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.
- Mark C. Freeman & Ben Groom, 2013. "How certain are we about the certainty-equivalent long term social discount rate?," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 138, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
- Mark C. Freeman & Ben Groom & Ekaterini Panopoulou & Theologos Pantelidis, 2013. "Declining discount rates and the Fisher Effect: Inflated past, discounted future?," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 109, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
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