The Curious Role of "Learning" in Climate Policy: Should We Wait for More Data?
AbstractGiven the large uncertainties regarding potential damages from climate change and the significant but also uncertain costs of reducing greenhouse emissions, the debate over a policy response is often framed as a choice of acting now or waiting until the uncertainty is reduced. Implicit in the "wait to learn" argument is the notion that the ability to learn in the future necessarily implies that less restrictive policies should be chosen in the near term. I demonstrate in the general case that the ability to learn in the future can lead to either less restrictive or more restrictive policies today. I also show that the initial decision made under uncertainty will be affected by future learning only if the actions taken today change the marginal costs or marginal damages in the future. Results from an intermediate-scale integrated model of climate and economics indicate that the choice of current emissions restrictions is independent of whether or not uncertainty is resolved before future decisions, because, like most models, the cross-period interactions are minimal. With stronger interactions, the effect of learning on initial period decisions can be more important.
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 International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.
Volume (Year): Volume23 (2002)
Issue (Month): Number 2 ()
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F0 - International Economics - - General
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.
- Peterson, Sonja, 2006. "Uncertainty and economic analysis of climate change : a survey of approaches and findings," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3778, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
- Michael Funke & Michael Paetz, 2007.
"Environmental Policy Under Model Uncertainty: A Robust Optimal Control Approach,"
Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers
20703, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
- Michael Funke & Michael Paetz, 2011. "Environmental policy under model uncertainty: a robust optimal control approach," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 225-239, August.
- Michael Funke & Michael Paetz, 2011. "Environmental policy under model uncertainty: a robust optimal control approach," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 21108, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
- Michael Funke & Michael Paetz, 2007. "Environmental Policy Under Model Uncertainty: A Robust Optimal Control Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1938, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Williams).
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.