Pricing the Planet's Future: The Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World [NOOK Book]

Overview

Our path of economic development has generated a growing list of environmental problems including the disposal of nuclear waste, exhaustion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and polluted land, air, and water. All these environmental problems raise the crucial challenge of determining what we should and should not do for future generations. It is also central to other policy debates, including, for example, the appropriate level of public debt, investment in public infrastructure, ...

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Pricing the Planet's Future: The Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World

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Overview

Our path of economic development has generated a growing list of environmental problems including the disposal of nuclear waste, exhaustion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and polluted land, air, and water. All these environmental problems raise the crucial challenge of determining what we should and should not do for future generations. It is also central to other policy debates, including, for example, the appropriate level of public debt, investment in public infrastructure, investment in education, and the level of funding for pension benefits and for research and development. Today, the judge, the citizen, the politician, and the entrepreneur are concerned with the sustainability of our development. The objective of Pricing the Planet's Future is to provide a simple framework to organize the debate on what we should do for the future.

A key element of analysis by economists is the discount rate--the minimum rate of return required from an investment project to make it desirable to implement. Christian Gollier outlines the basic theory of the discount rate and the various arguments that favor using a smaller discount rate for more distant cash flows.

With principles that can be applied to many policy areas, Pricing the Planet's Future offers an ideal framework for dynamic problems and decision making.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pricing the Planet's Future is a technically adept compendium of ideas on social discounting in an uncertain world, seen through the lens of the discounted utilitarianism and the Ramsey framework. . . . [T]he book is not necessarily for the faint-hearted newcomer to intergenerational issues. Yet it will serve as an excellent accompaniment to the previous texts in this area, . . . and as a clarifying resource for the technician or policymaker entering into the ever advancing literature on social discounting."—Ben Groom, Journal of Economic Literature

"For readers with the appropriate technical background the book provides a very good introduction to the research frontier. Incorporating uncertainty into long-run project evaluation and discounting is certainly a central component of a more satisfactory approach to decision making, and Gollier's contributions are required reading for those wishing to understand the issues involved."—Antony Millner, Environment and Planning Government and Policy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400845408
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/11/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Core Textbook
  • Pages: 248
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Christian Gollier is professor of economics at the University of Toulouse and director of the Toulouse School of Economics. He is the author of The Economics of Risk and Time and the coauthor of Economic and Financial Decisions under Risk (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1

Part I: The Simple Economics of Discounting
1 Three Ways to Determine the Discount Rate 17
2 The Ramsey Rule 26
3 Extending the Ramsey Rule to an Uncertain Economic Growth 41

Part II: The Term Structure of Discount Rates
4 Random Walk and Mean-Reversion 61
5 Markov Switches and Extreme Events 74
6 Parametric Uncertainty and Fat Tails 84
7 The Weitzman Argument 98
8 A Theory of the Decreasing Term Structure of Discount Rates 111

Part III: Extensions
9 Inequalities 131
10 Discounting Non-monetary Benefits 149
11 Alternative Decision Criteria 168

Part IV: Evaluation of Risky and Uncertain Projects
12 Evaluation of Risky Projects 185
13 The Option Value of Uncertain Projects 203
14 Evaluation of Non-marginal Projects 215

Global Conclusion 225
Index 227

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