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Determining benefits and costs for future generations

Arrow, K., Cropper, M., Gollier, C., Groom, B., Heal, G., Newell, R., Nordhaus, W., Pindyck, R., Pizer, W., Portney, P., Sterner, T., Tol, R. S. J. and Weitzman, M. (2013) Determining benefits and costs for future generations. Science, 341 (6144). pp. 349-350. ISSN 0036-8075

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Abstract

In economic project analysis, the rate at which future benefits and costs are discounted relative to current values often determines whether a project passes the benefit-cost test. This is especially true of projects with long time horizons, such as those to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whether the benefits of climate policies, which can last for centuries, outweigh the costs, many of which are borne today, is especially sensitive to the rate at which future benefits are discounted. This is also true of other policies, e.g., affecting nuclear waste disposal or the construction of long-lived infrastructure.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencemag.org/
Additional Information: © 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2013 13:59
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51626/

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