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There is an ongoing discussion in environmentrelated fields about the practice of discounting in economic analysis. The need for discounting arises when economists seek to compare the costs and benefits of a project or policy that occurs over a number of years. Economists do not treat future costs and benefits the same as current ones, because the value of a dollar tomorrow is less than the value of a dollar today. This argument is theoretically related to two factors. First, this money can be invested, and interest earned, between now and the future. If the dollar is not received until the future, than such an investment opportunity is foregone. In practice, this foregone rate of return is often calculated at the prevailing interest rate (or ...

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