Skip to main content

Discount Rate

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > D, E > Discount Rate

Discount Rate 

The rate chosen to discount future benefits, usually assessed as the opportunity costs of capital.

(Pal 2006, 322) 


Discount rates are often important in measuring the performance of government programs. The utility of this concept for program evaluation can be better understood if one conceives of the discount rate as measuring the opportunity costs of capital. In other words, one must consider the rate of return which would be achieved if program sums were invested in the private sector. 



Pal, Leslie. 2006. Beyond Policy Analysis: Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times, 3rd ed. Toronto: Nelson Education.



Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance