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Pricing the Planet's FutureThe Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World$
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Christian Gollier

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148762

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148762.001.0001

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Global Conclusion

Global Conclusion

(p.225) Global Conclusion
Pricing the Planet's Future

Christian Gollier

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the principles set forth in this volume. It argues that the discount rate is a key parameter in economics because it determines how our societies value their future. The chapter aims to use the discount rate in the net present value (NPV) decision rule: to find the discount rate which gives a positive NPV only for those projects that raise the sum of present and future generations’ felicity. In that light, this chapter briefly touches upon the basic principles of discounting, the discounting of safe real cash flows, the term structure of real discount rates, the evaluation of uncertain projects, and the adaptability of projects.

Keywords:   discount rate, NPV decision, economics, future generations, discounting, uncertain projects, net present value

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