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The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Vladimir Karacharovskiy (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Social Discount Rate for Well-Being of the Future Generations: The Case of Russia

The research is devoted to measuring the shadow price of social changes associated with transforming the structure of merit and public goods. Research is based on the data of representative survey in Russia (1,000 respondents) with using method of experimental situations. We estimated the shadow price of the public good “well-being of the future generations” through calculating the discount rates for two specific types of goods derived from the concept of "human life value" and concept of "healthy life-years". The methodology of an assessment of the discount rates for life saving programs has been originally developed and empirically implemented for the first time by M.Cropper, S.Aydede and P.Portney in 1990s. We obtained discount rates for value of human lives and for specific merit good which is called "healthy and prosperous life-years" on Russian sample. The individual discount rates calculated in such type of experiment may be interpreted as price of refusal of today's generation from some kinds of benefits in favor of future generations. It is shown that social discount rates for the value of human lives turn out higher for Russia, than for Europe and the USA. The share of the respondents who prefer to save human lives of the people living today is also much higher for Russia. The law of decrease of a discount rate depending on the temporary horizon reproduced. At the same time the relative value of farther lives is much lower. The same result was reproduced about the merit good "healthy and prosperous life-years". We strongly believe that revealing the structure of social preferences will help improve policy making by explicitly taking into account the specifics of the actual social contract in society. The research is funded by the Russian Science Foundation (project №16-18-10270).