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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2006

Environmental Law

Cornell University Law School

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Cost-benefit Analysis

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Discounting, On Stilts, Douglas A. Kysar Aug 2006

Discounting, On Stilts, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This paper provides a critical overview of several articles presented at the Intergenerational Discounting and Intergenerational Equity Conference held at the University of Chicago Law School on April 27-28, 2006. First, it demonstrates that conventional normative justifications offered for the use of discounting future costs and benefits for policy analysis in the intergenerational context do not withstand scrutiny. Second, it observes that the compensatory transfers that are sometimes thought to sanitize the cost-benefit procedure in the intergenerational context are deeply problematic, both in their theoretical construction and in their practical adequacy for the tasks they are being deployed to accomplish. …