Accession Number : ADA213775


Title :   The Choice of Discount Rate Applicable to Government Resource Use: Theory and Limitations


Descriptive Note : Interim rept.


Corporate Author : RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA


Personal Author(s) : Quirk, James P ; Terasawa, Katsuaki L


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a213775.pdf


Report Date : Dec 1987


Pagination or Media Count : 68


Abstract : This report presents a review of theories of the social discount rate, identifying the sources of divergent views and limitations of the theories in actual application. The question of the optimal discount rate to use in evaluating government projects has been debated in the economic literature since the late 1950s. The authors suggest that the discount rate be used as a filter rather than a device to achieve the desired level of government spending. Adopting this approach implies the choice of a discount rate that is in principle computable from existing data, with government budget limits acting as an effective constraint on government investment spending. Risk, flexibility, and data manipulability are considered. The approach is based purely on efficiency grounds and this does not require information on the social rate of time preference. It does not address important equity issues, which the authors believe can be better resolved outside the framework of cost-benefit analysis. Keywords: Federal budgets; Economic analysis; Investments. (SDW)


Descriptors :   *ECONOMIC ANALYSIS , *INVESTMENTS , ECONOMICS , COST ANALYSIS , FEDERAL BUDGETS , RATES , LIMITATIONS , DOCUMENTS , RESOURCES , BUDGETS , BENEFITS , RISK , SOURCES , THEORY


Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE