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.
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