Discounting Disentangled: Aotearoa

52 Pages Posted: 16 May 2024

See all articles by Zachary Turk

Zachary Turk

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; University College Cork - Cork University Business School

Date Written: May 16, 2024


The value of public investments and assets are highly sensitive to social discount rate (SDR) selection when they are placed into comparable present-value terms during cost-benefit analyses. As in Drupp et al. (2018), I survey SDR experts on their beliefs over the appropriate SDR to use in public policy and key parameters often used in its determination. Unlike Weitzman (2001) and Drupp et al. (2018), I focus exclusively on the opinions of experts working in Aotearoa – New Zealand. I find that most domestic experts recommend an SDR of a little over half the current New Zealand Treasury guidance. A declining discount rate schedule based on their responses suggests an even lower SDR for long-term considerations. I also survey researchers, policy advisors and non-SDR expert policy practitioners to explore their preferences over SDR policy and identify sources of information on SDR’s.

Keywords: Social discount rate, discounting, New Zealand, Aotearoa, SRTP, expert survey

JEL Classification: C83, D61, D82, H43, Q58

Suggested Citation

Turk, Zachary, Discounting Disentangled: Aotearoa (May 16, 2024). Available at SSRN: or

Zachary Turk (Contact Author)

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research ( email )

New Zealand

University College Cork - Cork University Business School ( email )

West Wing, Main Quadrangle, College Road

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