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Intergenerational equity and the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis

Author

Listed:
  • ANNA RUBINCHIK

    (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)

  • JEAN-FRANCOIS MERTENS

    (CORE, UCL, Belgium)

Abstract

A necessary condition is time-invariance, which is satisfied by any common solution concept in an overlapping generations model with exogenous growth. The method is applied to derive the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis under two different utilitarian welfare functions: traditional and relative. It is only under relative utilitarianism that the discount rate is well-defined for a heterogeneous society, is corroborated by an independent argument on the value of human life, and equals the growth rate of per capita consumption, thus falling in the range suggested by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Rubinchik & Jean-Francois Mertens, 2008. "Intergenerational equity and the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis," 2008 Meeting Papers 874, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:874
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    Cited by:

    1. MERTENS, Jean-François & RUBINCHIK, Anna, 2006. "Intergenerational equity and the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis," CORE Discussion Papers 2006091, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    2. Mertens, Jean-François & Rubinchik, Anna, 2012. "Intergenerational Equity And The Discount Rate For Policy Analysis," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 61-93, February.
    3. Jean-Francois Mertens, 2010. "Welfare evaluation of policies in an overlapping generations growth model," 2010 Meeting Papers 1239, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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