IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jpbect/v16y2014i6p981-993.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Note on Discounting an Increasingly Uncertain Future

Author

Listed:
  • W. HENRY CHIU

Abstract

This note clarifies the roles played by the wealth and precautionary effects in determining the socially efficient discount rate for public investment projects and how the rate should vary over time. We first give a general characterization of the effects of stochastic shifts in the consumption growth rate on the magnitude of the socially efficient discount rate. We then show that increasing uncertainty in the consumption growth rate provides a natural and compelling rationale for discounting more distant future consumption at a lower rate.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Henry Chiu, 2014. "A Note on Discounting an Increasingly Uncertain Future," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(6), pages 981-993, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:16:y:2014:i:6:p:981-993
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jpet.12089
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    2. Menezes, Carmen F. & Wang, X.Henry, 2005. "Increasing outer risk," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 875-886, November.
    3. Ogaki, Masao & Zhang, Qiang, 2001. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 515-526, March.
    4. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
    5. Miles S. Kimball, 1991. "Precautionary Motives for Holding Assets," NBER Working Papers 3586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Christian Gollier, 2008. "Discounting with fat-tailed economic growth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 171-186, December.
    7. Ross, Stephen A, 1981. "Some Stronger Measures of Risk Aversion in the Small and the Large with Applications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 621-638, May.
    8. Kenneth Arrow, 2009. "A note on uncertainty and discounting in models of economic growth," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 87-94, April.
    9. 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.
    10. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    11. Yvan Lengwiler, 2005. "Heterogeneous Patience and the Term Structure of Real Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 890-896, June.
    12. Ekern, Steinar, 1980. "Increasing Nth degree risk," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 329-333.
    13. Menezes, C & Geiss, C & Tressler, J, 1980. "Increasing Downside Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 921-932, December.
    14. Ian Jewitt, 1987. "Risk Aversion and the Choice Between Risky Prospects: The Preservation of Comparative Statics Results," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 73-85.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:16:y:2014:i:6:p:981-993. 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: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/apettea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.