Moral Uncertainty Over Policy Evaluation
Keywords:climate ethics, cost-benefit analysis, expert elicitation, intertemporal decision-making, social discount rate, moral expertise
When performing intertemporal cost-benefit analyses of policies, both in terms of climate change and other long-term problems, the discounting problem becomes critical. The question is how to weight intertemporal costs and benefits to generate present value equivalents. This thesis argues that those best placed to answer the discounting problem are domain experts, not moral philosophers or the public at large. It does this by arguing that the discounting problem is a special case of an interesting class of problems, those which are both what I call morally complex and quantitative.