Against the social discount rate
Parfit (Derek) & Cowen (Tyler)
Source: Peter Laslett & James S. Fishkin (eds.) Justice between age groups and generations, Yale University Press: New Haven, 1992, pp. 144-161
Paper - Abstract

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Authors' Abstract

  1. When deciding how to use resources, or to protect the: environment, or when selecting other policies with long-term consequences, governments and their advisers often use a social discount rate.
  2. With such a rate, possible costs and benefits are assumed to be less important if they would come further in the future.
  3. Such a discount rate applies not only to the: costs and benefits that will later come to existing people, but also across the lives of all future generations.
  4. In this chapter we consider the arguments for such a discount rate and conclude that they are not sound.


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