Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (5):1333-1349 (2017)

Authors
Conrad Heilmann
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Abstract
Controversies about time discounting loom large in decisions about climate change. Prominently, a particularly controversial debate about time discounting in climate change decision-making has been conducted within climate economics, between the authors of Stern et al. and their critics :977–981, 2006; Weitzman in J Econ Lit XLV:703–724, 2007; Nordhaus in J Econ Lit XLV:686–702, 2007). The article examines the role of values in this debate. Firstly, it is shown that time discounting is a case in which values are key because it is at heart an ethical problem. Secondly, it is argued that time discounting in climate economics is a case of economists making frequent and routine references to ethical values and indeed conduct ethical debates with each other. Thirdly, it is argued that there is evidence for deep and pervasive entanglement between facts and values in the prevalent methodologies for time discounting. Finally, it is argued that this means that economists have given up the ‘value-free ideal’ concerning time discounting, and discussed how the current methodology of time discounting in economics can be improved.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-017-9950-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,949
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
In Defence of the Value Free Ideal.Gregor Betz - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):207-220.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Values in Economics: A Recent Revival with a Twist.Magdalena Małecka - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology:1-10.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Measurement-Theoretic Foundations of Time Discounting in Economics.Conrad Heilmann - 2008 - The Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (Cpnss), London School of Economics.
Climate Change, Intergenerational Equity and the Social Discount Rate.Simon Caney - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (4):320-342.
Discounting, Time Preference, and Identity.Shane William Frederick - 2000 - Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University
Descriptive Versus Prescriptive Discounting in Climate Change Policy Analysis.Kelleher J. Paul - forthcoming - Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 15:957-977.
Time, Discounting and Value.Colin Price - 1998 - Environmental Values 7 (1):116-118.
Does a Discount Rate Measure the Costs of Climate Change?Christian Tarsney - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (3):337-365.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-08-15

Total views
28 ( #370,728 of 2,409,924 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #245,858 of 2,409,924 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes