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Properties of the Social Discount Rate in a Benthamite Framework with Heterogeneous Degrees of Impatience

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  • Diego Nocetti

    () (School of Business, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13699)

  • Elyès Jouini

    () (Ceremade, Université Paris-Dauphine, F-75016 Paris, France)

  • Clotilde Napp

    () (CNRS, UMR7088, F-75016 Paris, France, and DRM, Université Paris-Dauphine, F-75016 Paris, France)

Abstract

This paper derives the properties of the discount rate that should be applied to a public-sector project when the affected population has heterogeneous degrees of impatience. We show that, for any distribution of discount rates, the social discount rate has the following properties: it decreases over time, it is lower than the average of the discount rates in the population, and it converges to the discount rate of the most patient individual in the economy. These properties hold for both constant and decreasing individual discount rates. Finally, we evaluate how changes in the distribution of individual discount rates affect the social discount rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Nocetti & Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2008. "Properties of the Social Discount Rate in a Benthamite Framework with Heterogeneous Degrees of Impatience," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(10), pages 1822-1826, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:10:p:1822-1826
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1080.0904
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    1. Norman Henderson & Ian Bateman, 1995. "Empirical and public choice evidence for hyperbolic social discount rates and the implications for intergenerational discounting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(4), pages 413-423, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2268 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2009. "Cognitive biases and the representative agent," Working Papers halshs-00488570, HAL.
    3. Hubert De La Bruslerie & Florent Pratlong, 2012. "La valeur psychologique du temps : Une synthèse de la littérature," Post-Print halshs-00636357, HAL.
    4. Grechuk, Bogdan & Zabarankin, Michael, 2014. "Risk averse decision making under catastrophic risk," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 239(1), pages 166-176.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4987 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2319 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Geoffrey Heal & Antony Millner, 2013. "Discounting under Disagreement," NBER Working Papers 18999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Echazu Luciana & Nocetti Diego & Smith William T., 2012. "A New Look into the Determinants of the Ecological Discount Rate: Disentangling Social Preferences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-44, April.
    9. Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2008. "Aggregation of Discount Rates: an Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers halshs-00394035, HAL.
    10. Jouini, Elyès & Marin, Jean-Michel & Napp, Clotilde, 2010. "Discounting and divergence of opinion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 830-859, March.
    11. Jouini, Elyès & Napp, Clotilde, 2014. "How to aggregate experts' discount rates: An equilibrium approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 235-243.
    12. Mareike Schad & Jürgen John, 2012. "Towards a social discount rate for the economic evaluation of health technologies in Germany: an exploratory analysis," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(2), pages 127-144, April.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6511 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. de La Bruslerie, Hubert & Pratlong, Florent, 2012. "La valeur psychologique du temps : une synthèse de la littérature," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 88(3), pages 361-400, Septembre.
    15. Dorje C. Brody & Lane P. Hughston, 2013. "Social Discounting and the Long Rate of Interest," Papers 1306.5145, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2015.
    16. Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2012. "Behavioral biases and the representative agent," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 97-123, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social discount rate; hyperbolic discounting; cost-benefit analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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