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Spaces for agreement: a theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance

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  • Simon Dietz
  • Anca N. Matei
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    Abstract

    Many investments involve both a long time-horizon and risky returns. Making investment decisions thus requires assumptions about time and risk preferences. In the public sector in particular, such assumptions are frequently contested and there is no immediate prospect of universal agreement. Motivated by these observations, we develop a theory and method of finding ‘spaces for agreement’. These are combinations of classes of discount and utility function, for which one investment dominates another (or ‘almost’ does so), so that all decision-makers whose preferences can be represented by such combinations would agree on the option to be chosen. The theory is built on combining the insights of stochastic dominance on the one hand, and time dominance on the other, thus offering a non-parametric approach to inter-temporal, risky choice.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 137.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp137

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    1. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
    2. Simon Dietz & Nicholas Stern, 2008. "Why Economic Analysis Supports Strong Action on Climate Change: A Response to the Stern Review's Critics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 94-113, Winter.
    3. Haim Levy & Jacob Paroush, 1974. "Multi-Period Stochastic Dominance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(4), pages 428-435, December.
    4. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Moshe Leshno & Haim Levy, 2002. "Preferred by "All" and Preferred by "Most" Decision Makers: Almost Stochastic Dominance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(8), pages 1074-1085, August.
    7. Gollier, Christian, 2006. "An Evaluation of Stern's Report on the Economics of Climate Change," IDEI Working Papers 464, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    8. Wilfred Beckerman & Cameron Hepburn, 2007. "Ethics of the Discount Rate in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 8(1), pages 187-210, January.
    9. Hadar, Josef & Russell, William R, 1969. "Rules for Ordering Uncertain Prospects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 25-34, March.
    10. Levy, Haim & Hanoch, Giora, 1970. "Relative Effectiveness of Efficiency Criteria for Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 63-76, March.
    11. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
    12. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
    13. Partha Dasgupta, 2007. "The Stern Review's economics of climate change," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 199(1), pages 4-7, January.
    14. Levy, Moshe, 2009. "Almost Stochastic Dominance and stocks for the long run," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(1), pages 250-257, April.
    15. Simon Dietz & Anca N. Matei, 2013. "Is there space for agreement on climate change? A non-parametric approach to policy evaluation," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 136, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
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    Cited by:
    1. Simon Dietz & Anca N. Matei, 2013. "Is there space for agreement on climate change? A non-parametric approach to policy evaluation," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 136, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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