Adressing wellbeing in the long-term: a review of intergeneratioinal equity and dscount rates in climate change analysis
Most government policies give rise to a stream of costs and benefits over time. To evaluate them requires us to compare costs and benefits received in different time periods. That requires choosing a discount rate, which determines the value of future costs and benefits relative to current ones. The choice of discount rate can make a significant difference to whether the present value of a project is positive, and to the relative desirability of alternative projects, especially when costs and benefits accrue at different times and over long periods.
Harrison, M. (2014). Adressing wellbeing in the long-term: a review of intergeneratioinal equity and dscount rates in climate change analysis. In A. Podger (Eds.), Measuring and Promoting Wellbeing: How Important is Economic Growth? (pp. 629-661). Australia: The Australian National University Press. http://press.anu.edu.au?p=278051