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What really matters: Discounting, technological change and sustainable climate

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  • Müller-Fürstenberger, Georg
  • Stephan, Gunter
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    Abstract

    This paper discusses the interplay between the choice of the discount rate, greenhouse gas mitigation and endogenous technological change. Neglecting the issue of uncertainty it is shown that the Green Golden Rule stock of atmospheric carbon is uniquely determined, but is not affected by technological change. More generally it is shown analytically within the framework of a reduced model of integrated assessment that the optimal stationary stocks of atmospheric carbon depend on the choice of the discount rate, but are independent of the stock of technological knowledge. These results are then reinforced numerically in a fully specified integrated assessment analysis.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VDY-522YMMT-1/2/0bdffc056aed6ecb9adef71bb0a7f66c
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 978-987

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:5:p:978-987

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Integrated assessment Discount rate Endogenous technological change Climate change;

    References

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    1. Birol, Fatih & Keppler, Jan Horst, 2000. "Prices, technology development and the rebound effect," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6-7), pages 457-469, June.
    2. Gillingham, Kenneth T. & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2007. "Modeling Endogenous Technological Change for Climate Policy Analysis," Discussion Papers dp-07-14, Resources For the Future.
    3. Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
    4. Brännlund, Runar & Ghalwash, Tarek & Nordström, Jonas, 2004. "Increased Energy Efficiency and the Rebound Effect: Effects on consumption and emissions," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 642, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    5. Burmeister, Edwin & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1972. "Capital Deepening Response in an Economy with Heterogeneous Capital Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 842-53, December.
    6. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
    7. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey & Beltratti, Andrea, 1995. "The Green Golden Rule," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 175-179, August.
    8. Kelly C. de Bruin & Rob B. Dellink & Richard S.J. Tol, 2007. "AD-DICE: an implementation of adaptation in the DICE model," Working Papers FNU-126, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2007.
    9. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
    10. Stephan, Gunter & Muller-Furstenberger, Georg, 1998. "Discounting and the Economic Costs of Altruism in Greenhouse Gas Abatement," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 321-38.
    11. Vollebergh, Herman R.J. & Kemfert, Claudia, 2005. "The role of technological change for a sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 133-147, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.

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