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Household Discount Rates Revisited


  • Raymond S. Hartman
  • Michael J. Doane


Energy policy analysts (Hausman [1979], Hartman [1984], Houston [1983], Hutton [1980], and Olsen [1984]) increasingly rely on some notion of life-cycle costing for predicting how consumers will choose among alternative energy-using durable-good investments. These techniques have been important for understanding and analyzing the household purchase of new, relatively-untested appliance technologies (such as solar water heaters and more efficient refrigerators), new energy sources (such as solar photovoltaics), and capital-intensive conservation investments (such as increased home insulation, storm windows, and water heat wraps). In all of these cases, consumers face options in which a higher capital cost will purchase lower operating costs over the life of the particular pieces of equipment. We assume consumers evaluate these energy-using durables as they would any other investment. They compare and discount, over the life of the investments, the costs and financial benefits of alternatives and choose the option(s) offering the largest expected benefit.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond S. Hartman & Michael J. Doane, 1986. "Household Discount Rates Revisited," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 139-148.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1986v07-01-a09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Berndt, Ernst R, 1976. "Reconciling Alternative Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 59-68, February.
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    4. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Changes in Income Taxes in the Short and Medium Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 71-85, April.
    5. Hall, Robert E & Lilien, David M, 1979. "Efficient Wage Bargains under Uncertain Supply and Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 868-879, December.
    6. Stephen M. Goldfeld, 1976. "The Case of the Missing Money," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(3), pages 683-740.
    7. Daniel J.B. Mitchell, 1978. "Union Wage Determination: Policy Implications and Outlook," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 537-582.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boonekamp, Piet G.M., 2007. "Price elasticities, policy measures and actual developments in household energy consumption - A bottom up analysis for the Netherlands," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-157, March.
    2. Boylan, Richard T., 1996. "Voting over investment," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-208.
    3. Parkinson, Aidan & De Jong, Robert & Cooke, Alison & Guthrie, Peter, 2013. "Energy performance certification as a signal of workplace quality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1493-1505.
    4. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
    5. Marco Castillo & Paul Ferraro & Jeff Jordan & Ragan Petrie, 2008. "The Today and Tomorrow of Kids," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2008-10, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    6. Castillo, Marco & Ferraro, Paul J. & Jordan, Jeffrey L. & Petrie, Ragan, 2011. "The today and tomorrow of kids: Time preferences and educational outcomes of children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1377-1385.
    7. Matsukawa, Isamu & Ito, Nariyasu, 1998. "Household ownership of electric room air conditioners," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 375-387, September.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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