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Project Citation: 

Drupp, Moritz A., Freeman, Mark C., Groom, Ben, and Nesje, Frikk. Replication data for: Discounting Disentangled. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2018. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-10-13. https://doi.org/10.3886/E114692V1

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary The economic values of investing in long-term public projects are highly sensitive to the social discount rate (SDR). We surveyed over 200 experts to disentangle disagreement on the risk-free SDR into its component parts, including pure time preference, the wealth effect and return to capital. We show that the majority of experts do not follow the simple Ramsey Rule, a widely-used theoretical discounting framework, when recommending SDRs. Despite disagreement on discounting procedures and point values, we obtain a surprising degree of consensus among experts, with more than three-quarters finding the median risk-free SDR of 2 percent acceptable.

Scope of Project

JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      C83 Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
      D61 Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
      D82 Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
      H43 Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
      Q58 Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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