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Estimating Discount Rates Using Referendum-style Choice Experiments: An Analysis of Multiple Methods

Gregory Howard, John Whitehead () and Jacob Hochard ()

No 20-01, Working Papers from Department of Economics, Appalachian State University

Abstract: There is a growing literature that utilizes stated preference surveys to estimate discount rates. A review of the literature reveals large variation both in the discount rate estimates coming from different stated preference surveys and in the specific methodologies used to estimate discount rates. While most methods use similar theory and logic in deriving discount rate estimates, it is an open question how much of the variation seen in the literature is due to differences in methodology. Using a single data set, we estimate annual discount rates using six different methodologies and find that most of our estimates are tightly clustered between 25 31%. One methodology yields an outlier value of 200%. We also use multiple metrics to examine which methodology yields the “right” discount rate. Key Words: Discount rate; mixed logit; discrete choice experiment

JEL-codes: C52 D15 H43 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-exp
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