Why are future benefits and costs converted into present values in benefit-cost analysis?

Weight: 20%
Word Limit: 2000 words
Due: By 11.59pm on Friday 20 March 2015
Why are future benefits and costs converted into present values
in benefit-cost analysis? Write an essay that:
1. carefully explains the economic basis for discounting the
value of benefits and costs that occur in the future (60% of
marks) and:
2. outlines how we might determine what the social rate of
discount is (40% of marks).

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