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CFP: Cost-Benefit Analysis: Uncertainty, Discounting and the Sustainable Future

April 12-13th, 2010
Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
Abstract Deadline: November 23rd, 2009
Opening Lecture: Simon Caney, University of Oxford

The purpose of the conference is to invite experts in the fields of philosophy, ethics, applied economics, environmental economics and innovation studies. The focus will be on those aspects of uncertainty and the discount rate relevant to these disciplines. Uncertainties are of particular importance in innovation projects, where both costs and benefits are hard to assess. A crucial question is how uncertainty can be taken into account in cost-benefit analysis, even if imperfectly, and what kinds of alternative methodologies exist that may deal more effectively with decision-making in uncertain environments. The workshop also aims to expose and analyse the ethical assumptions at work in the choice of a discount rate. Importantly, while some of the reasons for discounting future benefits and costs are economic, some are ethical. The choice of discount rate is therefore an interdisciplinary issue.

If you wish to contribute a paper related to any of these issues, please send an abstract to R.J.Lowry (at) tue.nl. The conference is free, and will include lunch on both days. A limited number of scholarships will be made available to students who present a paper at the conference to help cover travel and accommodation costs.