FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
1999 .088

Time Horizon and the Discount Rate


Authors: Christian Gollier
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Type: Journal
Keywords: Discounting,uncertain growth,prudence,long term
JEL n.: D81,D91,Q25,Q28
JEL: Journal of Economic Theory
Date: 2002

Abstract

We discuss the selection of the socially efficient discount rate for public investment projects that entail costs and benefits in the far distant future. We show that the discount rate should be a decreasing function of time horizon under some specific restrictions on the distribution of uncertain growth and on preferences. We consider a logarithmic random walk for consumption. The benchmark result is that, in the absence of any risk of recession, the yield curve is decreasing if relative risk aversion is decreasing. Relaxing the assumption on the absence of recession requires more restrictions on preferences, as increasing relative prudence.

Download file
Download PDF file

FEEM Newsletter

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your personal data will be processed by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. – data Controller – with the aim of emailing the FEEM newsletter. The use of Your email address is necessary for the implementation of the newsletter service. You are invited to read the Privacy Policy in order to obtain additional information about the protection of Your rights.

This Website uses technical cookies and cookie analytics, as well as “third party” profiling cookies.
If you close this banner or you decide to continue navigating on this Website, you express consent to the use of cookies. If you need additional information or you wish to express selective choices on the use of cookies, please refer to the   Cookie PolicyI agree