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Taux d'actualisation pour l'évaluation des investissements publics au Québec

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  • Claude Montmarquette
  • Iain Scott

Abstract

Because of the time value of money (that is, a dollar today can be invested to yield more than a dollar tomorrow), a project's costs and benefits in different periods are not comparable. Therefore, a discount rate that will convert future sums into present values is used in cost-benefit analysis. This rate fundamentally influences the outcome: a rate too high will favour the present over the future and vice-versa. This paper addresses the issue of what the appropriate social discount rate for cost-benefit analysis of public projects should be in Quebec. In practice the Quebec government often uses the public sector's long-term borrowing costs as a proxy for the social discount rate. We find that this is inconsistent with both the scientific literature and international methodology on the subject. The social discount rate in Quebec: should be 8% in nominal terms, whereas the real rate should be 6%. Should be calculated without a risk premium. Should apply to all projects, including public private partnerships (PPPs). Should be revised every five years. La détermination du niveau du taux d'actualisation à utiliser est un élément critique du calcul économique qui doit être effectué lors de l'évaluation des projets publics envisagés. Ce taux permet de ramener sur une base comparable les coûts et les bénéfices qui sont échelonnés sur plusieurs périodes. En effet, un taux trop élevé aura pour effet de valoriser le présent au détriment du futur et vice-versa. Dans ce texte, nous suggérons un taux d'actualisation public pour le Québec qui est cohérent avec la littérature scientifique et les pratiques internationales sur ce sujet. Nous démontrons aussi que fixer le taux d'actualisation public au niveau du taux d'intérêt nominal moyen des emprunts gouvernementaux n'est pas l'option à retenir. Le taux d'actualisation : nominal du gouvernement du Québec doit être de 8 % et le taux réel du gouvernement du Québec doit être de 6 %. est un taux d'actualisation calculé hors prime de risque. est unique et s'applique de manière uniforme à tous les projets, incluant le partenariat public-privé. doit faire l'objet de révisions périodiques au moins tous les cinq ans.

Suggested Citation

  • Claude Montmarquette & Iain Scott, 2007. "Taux d'actualisation pour l'évaluation des investissements publics au Québec," CIRANO Project Reports 2007rp-02, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirpro:2007rp-02
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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2007RP-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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