The role of spatial scale in the timing of uncertain environmental policy
AbstractThe spatial scale of an environmental problem is dictated by boundaries. Physical boundaries limit the extent of impacts while the scale of decision making creates perceived boundaries beyond which impacts are ignored by decision makers. While it is well understood that uncertainty and irreversibility will alter policy decisions aimed at alleviating environmental impacts, the effect of spatial scales, both physical and perceived, is less understood. When spatial scale is included in a real options model of environmental policy adoption results indicate that the importance and influence of spatial considerations depends on the level of uncertainty, stringency of the proposed policy and flexibility of the policy decision. Recognizing spatial scale may force policy adoption to take place within a window of current damage. When spatial scale is small or uncertainty high, this window for policy adoption can close precluding policy adoption entirely. This undermines well-known results demonstrating that changes in uncertainty will only alter the timing of policy adoption. In other instances, the policy adoption window remains open but the option value increases faster than the benefits of the policy creating a scenario where it is always preferable to delay. Here the inclusion of an option value can prevent adoption of policies that would be adopted according to traditional cost-benefit analysis. In general policy decisions will be most affected by spatial considerations when the spatial scale is small, damage is spreading fast, and the uncertainty in damage spread is high.
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 Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.
Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc
Reflecting barrier; Brownian motion; Irreversibility; Real options; Spatial boundary;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dumas, Bernard, 1991. "Super contact and related optimality conditions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 675-685, October.
- Jean-Daniel M. Saphores, 2000. "The Economic Threshold with a Stochastic Pest Population: A Real Options Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 541-555.
- Willassen, Yngve, 1998. "The stochastic rotation problem: A generalization of Faustmann's formula to stochastic forest growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 573-596, April.
- Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 1999. "Bioeconomics of Spatial Exploitation in a Patchy Environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 129-150, March.
- Pindyck, Robert S., 2000.
"Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy,"
Resource and Energy Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 233-259, July.
- Pindyck, Robert S., 1998. "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy," Working papers WP 4047-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- William T. McSweeny & Randall A. Kramer, 1986. "The Integration of Farm Programs for Achieving Soil Conservation and Nonpoint Pollution Control Objectives," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 159-173.
- Gerard Gaudet & Michel Moreaux & Stephen W. Salant, 2001. "Intertemporal Depletion of Resource Sites by Spatially Distributed Users," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1149-1159, September.
- Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
- Dixit, Avinash, 1991. "A simplified treatment of the theory of optimal regulation of Brownian motion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 657-673, October.
- Pindyck, Robert S., 2002. "Optimal timing problems in environmental economics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1677-1697, August.
- Mensink, Paul & Requate, Till, 2005. "The Dixit-Pindyck and the Arrow-Fisher-Hanemann-Henry option values are not equivalent: a note on Fisher (2000)," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 83-88, January.
- Stein, Jerome L, 1971. "The 1971 Report of the President's Council of Economic Advisers: Micro-Economic Aspects of Public Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 531-37, September.
- Peltzman, Sam & Tideman, T Nicolaus, 1972. "Local versus National Pollution Control: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 959-63, December.
- Margaret Forsyth, 2000. "On estimating the option value of preserving a wilderness area," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 413-434, May.
- Saphores, Jean-Daniel, 2003. "Harvesting a renewable resource under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 509-529, December.
- Hanemann, W. Michael, 1989. "Information and the concept of option value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 23-37, January.
- Shackleton, Mark B. & Sødal, Sigbjørn, 2010. "Harvesting and recovery decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2533-2546, December.
- Fisher, Anthony C., 2000. "Investment under uncertainty and option value in environmental economics," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 197-204, July.
- Kassar, Ilhem & Lasserre, Pierre, 2004.
"Species preservation and biodiversity value: a real options approach,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 857-879, September.
- Ilhem Kassar & Pierre Lasserre, 2002. "Species Preservation and Biodiversity Value: A Real Options Approach," Cahiers de recherche du DÃ©partement des sciences Ã©conomiques, UQAM 20-18, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
- Ilhem Kassar & Pierre Lasserre, 2002. "Species Preservation and Biodiversity Value: A Real Options Approach," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-82, CIRANO.
- Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2008. "Optimal harvesting of stochastic spatial resources," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-18, July.
- Saphores, Jean-Daniel M. & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "Managing exotic pests under uncertainty: optimal control actions and bioeconomic investigations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 327-339, February.
- Jon M. Conrad, 1997. "Global Warming: When to Bite the Bullet," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(2), pages 164-173.
- Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
- Sims, Charles & Finnoff, David, 2013. "When is a “wait and see” approach to invasive species justified?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 235-255.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
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.