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Abstract

A constant social discount rate cannot reflect both a reasonable opportunity cost of public funds and an ethically defensible concern for generations in the distant future. We use a model of hyperbolic discounting that achieves both goals. We imbed this discounting model in a simple climate change model to calculate constant equivalent discount rates" and plausible levels of expenditure to control climate change. We compare these results to discounting assumptions and policy recommendations in the Stern Review on Climate Change.

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