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Determining Benefits and Costs for Future Generations

Author

Listed:
  • Arrow, K.
  • Cropper, M.
  • Gollier, C.
  • Groom, B.
  • Heal, G.
  • Newell, R.
  • Nordhaus, W.
  • Pindyck, R.
  • Pizer, W.
  • Portney, P.
  • Sterner, T.
  • Tol, R. S. J.
  • Weitzman, Martin L.

Abstract

In economic project analysis, the rate at which future benefits and costs are discounted relative to current values often determines whether a project passes the benefit-cost test. This is especially true of projects with long time horizons, such as those to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether the benefits of climate policies, which can last for centuries, outweigh the costs, many of which are borne today, is especially sensitive to the rate at which future benefits are discounted. This is also true of other policies, e.g., affecting nuclear waste disposal or the construction of long-lived infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Arrow, K. & Cropper, M. & Gollier, C. & Groom, B. & Heal, G. & Newell, R. & Nordhaus, W. & Pindyck, R. & Pizer, W. & Portney, P. & Sterner, T. & Tol, R. S. J. & Weitzman, Martin L., 2013. "Determining Benefits and Costs for Future Generations," Scholarly Articles 12841963, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:12841963
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