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Risk Aversion, Intergenerational Equity and Climate Change

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  • Minh Ha-Duong

    ()

  • Nicolas Treich

Abstract

The paper investigates a climate-economy model with an iso-elastic welfare function in which one parameter γ measures relative risk-aversion and a distinct parameter ρ measures resistance to intertemporal substitution.We show both theoretically and numerically that climate policy responds differently to variations in the two parameters. In particular, we show that higher γ but lower ρ leads to increase emissions control. We also argue that climate-economy models based on intertemporal expected utility maximization, i.e. models where γ=ρ, may misinterpret the sensitivity of the climate policy to risk-aversion. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/B:EARE.0000029915.04325.25
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 195-207

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:28:y:2004:i:2:p:195-207

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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Keywords: climate change; discounting; equity; risk-aversion;

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References

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  1. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  4. Normandin, Michel & St-Amour, Pascal, 1996. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, Taste Shocks and Equity Premia," Cahiers de recherche 9606, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Why the Far-Distant Future Should Be Discounted at Its Lowest Possible Rate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 201-208, November.
  6. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Discounting an uncertain future," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 149-166, August.
  7. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  8. Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 1999. "Recursive Intergenerational Utility in Global Climate Risk Modeling," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-40, CIRANO.
  9. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Minh Ha-Duong & Michael Grubb & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 1997. "Influence of socioeconomic inertia and uncertainty on optimal CO2-emission abatement," Post-Print halshs-00002452, HAL.
  11. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1996. "Discounting, Morality, and Gaming," Working Papers 97004, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Urvashi Narain & Michael Hanemann & Anthony Fisher, 2007. "The irreversibility effect in environmental decisionmaking," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 391-405, November.
  2. Larry S. Karp, 2009. "Sacrifice, Discounting and Climate Policy: Five Questions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2761, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Richard S.J. Tol, 2011. "The Social Cost of Carbon," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 419-443, October.
  4. Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Ambrosi, Philippe & Dumas, Patrice, 2009. "Beyond the Stern Review: Lessons from a risky venture at the limits of the cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2479-2484, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Svenja Hector, 2013. "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers 2013.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Svenja Hector(), . "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers ETH-RC-13-007, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
  8. Frank Ackerman & Elizabeth Stanton & Ramón Bueno, 2013. "Epstein–Zin Utility in DICE: Is Risk Aversion Irrelevant to Climate Policy?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84, September.
  9. Crost, Benjamin & Traeger, Christian P., 2010. "Risk and aversion in the integrated assessment of climate change," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1104R, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, revised Jul 2011.
  10. Frank Ackerman & Ian J. Finlayson, . "06-07 “The Economics of Inaction on Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis”," GDAE Working Papers 06-07, GDAE, Tufts University.
  11. Cameron Hepburn & Hakon Sælen & Giles Atkinson, 2008. "Risk, inequality and time in the welfare economics of climate change: is the workhorse model underspecified?," Economics Series Working Papers 400, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. Richard S. J. Tol, 2010. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(s1), pages 13-37, 05.
  13. Adler, Matthew & Treich, Nicolas, 2014. "Consumption, Risk and Prioritarianism," TSE Working Papers 14-500, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  14. Noah Kaufman, 2012. "The bias of integrated assessment models that ignore climate catastrophes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 575-595, February.

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