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Empirical measures of factors affecting social rates of discount

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  • Martin Luckert
  • Wiktor Adamowicz

Abstract

Economists have long considered possible divergences between private and social rates of time preferences. In this paper, we investigate factors hypothesized to affect this potential divergence. Results indicate that time preferences of individuals may be influenced by: 1. whether the resource in question is publicly or privately managed (respondents tend to have lower rates of time prefernce for publicly managed resources); and 2. the type of good being managed (respondents tend to have lower rates of time preference for income derived from a forest than for income derived from a portfolio of stocks and bonds). Additional factors which may influence the revealed rate of time preference include the pattern of benefits derived over time and various personal characteristics of the respondent. Although numerous methodological problems cloud the issues, our results suggest that capital markets may fail to aggregate utility over individuals and between goods, and that it may therefore be appropriate for governments to consider using lower rates of discount than the private sector, and to vary the rate used according to the type of good being evaluated. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Luckert & Wiktor Adamowicz, 1993. "Empirical measures of factors affecting social rates of discount," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:3:y:1993:i:1:p:1-21
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00338317
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    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.
    2. Saez, Carmen Almansa & Requena, Javier Calatrava, 2007. "Reconciling sustainability and discounting in Cost-Benefit Analysis: A methodological proposal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 712-725, February.
    3. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
    4. Almansa Sáez, Carmen & Calatrava Requena, Javier, 2007. "La Problemática Del Descuento En La Evaluación Económica De Proyectos Con Impacto Intergeneracional: Tasa Ambiental Crítica Y Montante De Transferencia Intergeneracional/Discounting In The Context Of ," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 25, pages 165-198, Abril.
    5. Luckert, Martin K. & Haley, David, 1993. "Canadian Forest Tenures as Incentive Frameworks for the Silvicultural Expenditures of Private Firms," Staff Paper Series 232542, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    6. Heinzel, Christoph & Winkler, Ralph, 2006. "Gradual versus structural technological change in the transition to a low-emission energy industry: How time-to-build and differing social and individual discount rates influence environmental and tec," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 09/06, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Marta Bottero & Valentina Ferretti & Giulio Mondini, 2013. "From the environmental debt to the environmental loan: trends and future challenges for intergenerational discounting," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 15(6), pages 1623-1644, December.
    8. Taylor, Cameron L. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Luckert, Martin K., 2003. "Preferences over the timing of forest resource use," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 223-240.

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