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La Tasa de Descuento Revisitada


  • Felipe Zurita

    () (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)


The choice of an appropriate discount rate is of major importance in cost benefit analysis both, at the private and at the social levels. The theories that rationalize the NPV criterion also identify the appropriate rate. However, the question remains as to what should be done when the environment where the project is under appraisal does not accommodate well to the one described by the theory. This essay puts forward the idea that generally speaking, when there is no obvious rate to pick the NPV criterion lacks normative value.

Suggested Citation

  • Felipe Zurita, 2004. "La Tasa de Descuento Revisitada," Documentos de Trabajo 261, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:261

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darrell Duffie & Chi-Fu Huang, 2005. "Implementing Arrow-Debreu Equilibria By Continuous Trading Of Few Long-Lived Securities," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 4, pages 97-127 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    4. Martin L. Weitzman, 2001. "Gamma Discounting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 260-271, March.
    5. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2004. "The Social Discount Rate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1257-1268, December.
    6. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    7. Breeden, Douglas T., 1979. "An intertemporal asset pricing model with stochastic consumption and investment opportunities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 265-296, September.
    8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    9. Adler, Matthew D & Posner, Eric A, 2000. "Implementing Cost-Benefit Analysis When Preferences Are Distorted," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 1105-1147, June.
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    More about this item


    Discount rate; NPV; cost-benefit analysis; social discount rate;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate


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