Benefit–cost analysis of non-marginal climate and energy projects
AbstractConventional benefit–cost analysis incorporates the normally reasonable assumption that the policy or project under examination is marginal. Among the assumptions this entails is that the policy or project is small, so the underlying growth rate of the economy does not change. However, this assumption may be inappropriate in some important circumstances, including in climate-change and energy policy. One example is global targets for carbon emissions, while another is a large renewable energy project in a small economy, such as a hydropower dam. This paper develops some theory on the evaluation of non-marginal projects, with empirical applications to climate change and energy. We examine the conditions under which evaluation of a non-marginal project using marginal methods may be wrong, and in our empirical examples we show that both qualitative and large quantitative errors are plausible.
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 Energy Economics.
Volume (Year): 40 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco
Benefit–cost analysis; Non-marginal; Project appraisal; Discount rate; Infrastructure investment; Climate change; Energy; Hydropower dam;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
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.:
- Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
- Hammond,Peter, 1988.
"Theoretical progress in public economics: A provocative assessment,"
Discussion Paper Serie A
171, University of Bonn, Germany.
- Hammond, Peter J, 1990. "Theoretical Progress in Public Economics: A Provocative Assessment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 6-33, January.
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
- Atkinson, Giles D. & Dietz, Simon & Helgeson, Jennifer & Hepburn, Cameron & Sælen, Håkon, 2009.
"Siblings, not triplets: social preferences for risk, inequality and time in discounting climate change,"
Economics Discussion Papers
2009-14, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Helgeson, Jennifer & Dietz, Simon & Atkinson, Giles D. & Hepburn, Cameron & Sælen, Håkon, 2009. "Siblings, not triplets: social preferences for risk, inequality and time in discounting climate change," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(26), pages 1-28.
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120.
- Chetty, Nadarajan, 2009.
"Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods,"
9748528, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, 05.
- Raj Chetty, 2008. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," NBER Working Papers 14399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 2001. " A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 1-23, March.
- World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373, July.
- Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen J. Nickell, 2007.
"The Marginal Utility of Income,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
50, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen J Nickell, 2007. "The marginal utility of income," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19745, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Richard Layard & Guy Mayraz & Stephen Nickell, 2007. "The Marginal Utility of Income," CEP Discussion Papers dp0784, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2009.
"On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Scholarly Articles 11315435, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2012.
"GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages,"
Journal of Public Economic Theory,
Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, 03.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2010. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," NBER Working Papers 16136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2010. "What Is The "Damages Function" For Global Warming — And What Difference Might It Make?," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 57-69.
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2009.
"On analysing the world distribution of income,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
701, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Robert W. Hahn & Paul C. Tetlock, 2008. "Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 67-84, Winter.
- Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-97, September.
- Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
- Foley, Duncan K. & Rezai, Armon & Taylor, Lance, 2013. "The social cost of carbon emissions: Seven propositions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 90-97.
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.