How Fast Should We Graze the Global Commons?
AbstractUnlike the vast preponderance of planets, earth has been bequeathed a hospitable environment in which to thrive. Up to now, man's activities have affected this environment negligibly. Scientists are becoming convinced, however, that release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from combustion of fossil fuels will lead to a significant modification of the global climate (see Woodwell). How should we think about such a destruction of our heritage? Should it be treated as anathema, like bondage? Or should the pace and extent of use of our global commons be subject to the same reasoned balancing of costs and benefits as other economic activities? The present paper takes the second approach -- asking how fast the global economy should allow a buildup of atmospheric CO2. The first section reviews the current scientific knowledge on this subject, while the second puts this into an optimal growth framework. The third section then presents a numerical example, while the last presents some realistic policy views on the subject.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 72 (1982)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Other versions of this item:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
RePEc Biblio mentionsAs found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- W. J. McKibbin & T. J. Bok, .
"The Impact on the Asia-Pacific Region of Fiscal Policy of the United States and Japan,"
120, Brookings Institution International Economics.
- McKibbin, W.J. & Bok, T.J., 1995. "The Impact on the Asia-Pacific Region of Fiscal Policy in the United States and Japan," Papers 120, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
- Tol, Richard S. J., 2007.
"The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes,"
Economics Discussion Papers
2007-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Tol, Richard S. J., 2008. "The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2(25), pages 1-22.
- Richard S.J. Tol, 2007. "The Social Cost Of Carbon: Trends, Outliers And Catastrophes," Working Papers FNU-144, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Aug 2007.
- Stavins, Robert & Hahn, Robert & Cavanagh, Sheila, 2001.
"National Environmental Policy During the Clinton Years,"
dp-01-38, Resources For the Future.
- Hahn, Robert W. & Olmstead, Sheila M. & Stavins, Robert N., 2001. "National Environmental Policy During the Clinton Years," Working paper 511, Regulation2point0.
- Cavanagh, Sheila & Hahn, Robert & Stavins, Robert, 2001. "National Environmental Policy During the Clinton Years," Working Paper Series rwp01-027, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- John Haraden & Samuel Herrick & Dale Squires & Clement Tisdell, 2004. "Economic Benefits of Dolphins in the United States Eastern Tropical Pacific Purse-Seine Tuna Industry," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(4), pages 451-468, August.
- Goulder, Lawrence H. & Pizer, William A., 2006.
"The Economics of Climate Change,"
dp-06-06, Resources For the Future.
- Loehman, Edna T. & Randhir, Timothy O., 1999. "Alleviating soil erosion/pollution stock externalities: alternative roles for government," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 29-46, July.
- Enrico Saltari & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2013. "Optimal Waste Control with Abatement and Productive Capital Stocks," Working Papers 1301, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2013.
- Spash, Clive L. & Hanley, Nick, 1994. "Cost-benefit analysis and the greenhouse effect," MPRA Paper 38666, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Muller, Nicholas Z., 2012. "The design of optimal climate policy with air pollution co-benefits," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 696-722.
- Stavins, Robert N., 2001.
"Economic Analysis of Global Climate Change Policy: A Primer,"
- Stavins, Robert, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Global Climate Change Policy: A Primer," Working Paper Series rwp00-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Mads Greaker & Lise-Lotte Pade, 2008. "Optimal CO2 abatement and technological change. Should emission taxes start high in order to spur R&D?," Discussion Papers 548, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
- Stavins, Robert, 2000. "A Two-Way Street Between Environmental Economics and Public Policy," Working Paper Series rwp00-005, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Bollen, Johannes & van der Zwaan, Bob & Brink, Corjan & Eerens, Hans, 2009. "Local air pollution and global climate change: A combined cost-benefit analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 161-181, August.
- Catton, Will, 2009. "Dynamic carbon caps. Splitting the bill: A fairer solution post-Kyoto?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5636-5649, December.
- Spash, Clive L. & Clayton, Anthony M. H., 1995. "Strategies for the maintenance of natural capital," MPRA Paper 38273, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Sandal, Leif Kristoffer & Steinshamn, Stein Ivar, 2004. "Pollution Decay, Consumer Awareness and Optimal Carbon Taxes," Discussion Papers 2004/7, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.