Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):89-112 (2019)

Authors
Kian Mintz-Woo
University College, Cork
Abstract
Utility discounting in intertemporal economic modelling has been viewed as problematic, both for descriptive and normative reasons. However, positive utility discount rates can be defended normatively; in particular, it is rational for future utility to be discounted to take into account model-independent outcomes when decision-making under risk. The resultant values will tend to be smaller than descriptive rates under most probability assignments. This also allows us to address some objections that intertemporal considerations will be overdemanding. A principle for utility discount rates is suggested which is rooted in probability discounting. Utility discounting is defended against objections from Parfit (1984) and Broome (2005); Broome (2012). A sample utility discount rate is estimated. [Open access]
Keywords discounting  risk  climate change  utility  credence  exogenous  Derek Parfit  John Broome
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Reprint years 2020
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DOI 10.1515/mopp-2018-0060
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1962 - Cambridge University Press.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 13 (2):251-254.

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Citations of this work BETA

Intergenerational Justice.Lukas Meyer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Time Discounting, Consistency, and Special Obligations: A Defence of Robust Temporalism.Harry R. Lloyd - 2021 - Global Priorities Institute, Working Papers 2021 (11):1-38.

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