Journal of Scientific Papers

ECONOMICS & SOCIOLOGY


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ISSN 2071-789X



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Discussion on the Social Rate of Discount: from Sen to Behavioural Economics

Vol. 9, No 2, 2016

Adam Karbowski

 

Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland,

 

adam.karbowski@sgh.waw.pl

DISCUSSION ON THE SOCIAL RATE OF DISCOUNT: FROM SEN

TO BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract. This survey paper discusses the links between (1) research done by Amartya K. Sen on the social rate of discount and (2) behavioural economics studies on intertemporal and interpersonal choice. Sen’s idea on the need to differentiate social rate of discount allowed to pave the way further followed by behavioural economists who do research on both (i) time (also known as delay or temporal) discounting and (ii)  social  discounting. Canonical works of Sen, Marglin, Tullock and Baumol on social rate of discount and newer (even recent) behavioural economics literature on choices made within time and social distance horizon strongly complement each other. As shown, the works of Sen considerably broadened the standard approach (discounted utility model) to the intergenerational choice as well as significantly affected economic debate in that area for years to come.  Brief presentation of the discounted utility model and its implications is a first research task of this paper. The concise elaboration of research findings of (a) Sen and (b) behavioural economists comprises two remaining research tasks of this paper.

 

Received: February, 2016

1st Revision: March, 2016

Accepted: June, 2016

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071- 789X.2016/9-2/3

JEL Classification: D6, D9, I3, Q01

Keywords: social   rate   of   discount,   intergenerational   choice, Amartya K. Sen, behavioural economics.