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Actualisation et développement durable : en faisons-nous assez pour les générations futures?

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  • Christian Gollier

Abstract

Do we do enough for the future ? This question is related to many different current issues, from the reduction of sovereign debt in Europe, to the pension reform, the fight against climate change, the preservation of natural resources, the level of public investment in infrastructure, or the fiscal treatment of long-term savings for example. Our social responsibility towards future generations is decentralized through the choice of the discount rate, which determines the tradeoff between present sacrifices and future benefits. How should we define the efficient level of long-termism? In this paper, I summarize the most important evolutions in the economic analysis of this question in recent years. Given the strong uncertainties that prevail concerning the long term evolution of our Society, I recommend to use a discount rate ranging from 2.5% to 3.5% for time horizons shorter than 20 years, going down to 1% for time horizons above 100 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Gollier, 2012. "Actualisation et développement durable : en faisons-nous assez pour les générations futures?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 2012.HS1, pages 57-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2012:i:2012.hs1:p:57-96
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