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Pricing the Planet's Future


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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

About 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).


"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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