Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate

The aggregated term structure of social discount rates that results from Weitzman's (2001) survey of expert opinion is shown to be highly sensitive to the nature of the responses. If variation reflects irreducible differences in ethical judgments, the term structure can decline rapidly. If vari...

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Main Authors: Mark Freeman, Ben Groom
Format: Default Article
Published: 2014
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Online Access:https://hdl.handle.net/2134/16717
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spelling rr-article-95022352014-07-17T00:00:00Z Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate Mark Freeman (1248162) Ben Groom (7198802) Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified Other economics not elsewhere classified untagged Economics Business and Management not elsewhere classified The aggregated term structure of social discount rates that results from Weitzman's (2001) survey of expert opinion is shown to be highly sensitive to the nature of the responses. If variation reflects irreducible differences in ethical judgments, the term structure can decline rapidly. If variation occurred because respondents were forecasting future rates under uncertainty, the term structure is much flatter because additional experts provide new information. The former approach triples the social cost of carbon when compared to the latter. The distinction between heterogeneity and uncertainty illustrates the need for a nuanced treatment of survey data in intergenerational policy making. 2014-07-17T00:00:00Z Text Journal contribution 2134/16717 https://figshare.com/articles/journal_contribution/Positively_gamma_discounting_combining_the_opinions_of_experts_on_the_social_discount_rate/9502235 CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
institution Loughborough University
collection Figshare
topic Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
Other economics not elsewhere classified
untagged
Economics
Business and Management not elsewhere classified
spellingShingle Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
Other economics not elsewhere classified
untagged
Economics
Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Mark Freeman
Ben Groom
Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
description The aggregated term structure of social discount rates that results from Weitzman's (2001) survey of expert opinion is shown to be highly sensitive to the nature of the responses. If variation reflects irreducible differences in ethical judgments, the term structure can decline rapidly. If variation occurred because respondents were forecasting future rates under uncertainty, the term structure is much flatter because additional experts provide new information. The former approach triples the social cost of carbon when compared to the latter. The distinction between heterogeneity and uncertainty illustrates the need for a nuanced treatment of survey data in intergenerational policy making.
format Default
Article
author Mark Freeman
Ben Groom
author_facet Mark Freeman
Ben Groom
author_sort Mark Freeman (1248162)
title Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
title_short Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
title_full Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
title_fullStr Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
title_full_unstemmed Positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
title_sort positively gamma discounting: combining the opinions of experts on the social discount rate
publishDate 2014
url https://hdl.handle.net/2134/16717
_version_ 1797284845267714048