Publisher description for Discounting and intergenerational equity / edited by Paul R. Portney and John P. Weyant.


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The effects of many environmental policies made today will be felt across a number of generations. Climate change is a good example of an environmental issue with very long-term ramifications. In such cases, analysts often employ discount rates to compare present and future costs and benefits. In this landmark book, a number of the world's foremost economists reconsider the appropriate use of discounting in decision making for the far future.

Paul Portney and John Weyant have assembled a sterling lineup of colleagues to reconsider the purpose, ethical implications, and application of discounting in light of recent research and current policy concerns such as climate change and nuclear waste. Contributors include Kenneth Arrow, Scott Barrett, David Bradford, William Cline, Maureen Cropper, Shantayanan Devarajan, Partha Dasgupta, Raymond Kopp, David Laibson, Robert Lind, Karl-Göran Mäler, Alan Manne, W. David Montgomery, William Nordhaus, Jerome Rothenberg, Thomas Schelling, V. Kerry Smith, Michael Toman, and Martin Weitzman.

The editors have produced a book that looks at discounting from many different perspectives. It should go a long way toward refining the economic dimensions of public policy, particularly environmental policy. As with the policies it discusses, the impact of the book will be felt tomorrow as well as today.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Policy sciences, Cost effectiveness, Intergenerational relations, Social justice