Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

How Should the Distant Future be Discounted When Discount Rates are Uncertain?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gollier, Christian
  • Weitzman, Martin

Abstract

It is not immediately clear how to discount distant-future events, like climate change, when the distant-future discount rate itself is uncertain. The so-called “Weitzman-Gollier puzzle” is the fact that two seemingly symmetric and equally plausible ways of dealing with uncertain future discount rates appear to give diametrically opposed results with the opposite policy implications. We explain how the “Weitzman-Gollier puzzle” is resolved. When agents optimize their consumption plans and probabilities are adjusted for risk, the two approaches are identical. What we would wish a reader to take away from this paper is the bottom-line message that the appropriate long run discount rate declines over time toward its lowest possible value.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://idei.fr/doc/by/gollier/discounting_long_term.pdf
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 588.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics Letters, vol.�107, n°3, Elsevier, juin 2010, p.�350-353.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:21453

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Manufacture des Tabacs, Aile Jean-Jacques Laffont, 21 Allée de Brienne, 31000 TOULOUSE
Phone: +33 (0)5 61 12 85 89
Fax: + 33 (0)5 61 12 86 37
Email:
Web page: http://www.idei.fr/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Gollier, Christian, 2003. "Maximizing the Expected Net Future Value as an Alternative Strategy to Gamma Discounting," IDEI Working Papers 213, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Ekaterini Panopoulou & B. Groom & P. Koundouri & Theologos Pantelidis, 2005. "Discounting the distant future: How much does model selection affect the certainty equivalent rate?," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1480105, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
  7. 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.
  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. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Gamma Discounting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1843, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2004. "Uncertain discount rates in climate policy analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 519-529, March.
  11. GOLLIER Christian, 2008. "Should we discount the far-distant future at its lowest possible rate?," LERNA Working Papers 08.30.274, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  12. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Discouting with uncertain discount rates
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-04 15:12:00

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Climate economics > Discounting, equity, uncertainty
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Economic Logic blog

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:21453. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.