Table of Contents

Predicting the Future in Science, Economics, and Politics

Predicting the Future in Science, Economics, and Politics

Edited by Frank Whelon Wayman, Paul R. Williamson, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Solomon Polachek

It is a puzzle that while academic research has increased in specialization, the important and complex problems facing humans urgently require a synthesis of understanding. This unique collaboration attempts to address such a problem by bringing together a host of prominent scholars from across the sciences to offer new insights into predicting the future. They demonstrate that long-term trends and short-term incentives need to be understood in order to adopt effective policies, or even to comprehend where we currently stand and the sort of future that awaits us.

Chapter 5: Properly discounting the future: using predictions in an uncertain world

J. Doyne Farmer and John Geanakoplos

Subjects: economics and finance, game theory, international economics, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, public policy

Extract

In this chapter, we have chosen to address a broad issue concerning social prediction, namely concerning the role of utility. First, we present some new work concerning the temporal discounting of utility. This work then provides one piece in a more general context of additional comments regarding the limitations and proper use of the utility concept.

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