On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change
AbstractWith climate change as prototype example, this paper analyzes the implications of structural uncertainty for the economics of low-probability, high-impact catastrophes. Even when updated by Bayesian learning, uncertain structural parameters induce a critical "tail fattening" of posterior-predictive distributions. Such fattened tails have strong implications for situations, like climate change, where a catastrophe is theoretically possible because prior knowledge cannot place sufficiently narrow bounds on overall damages. This paper shows that the economic consequences of fat-tailed structural uncertainty (along with unsureness about high-temperature damages) can readily outweigh the effects of discounting in climate-change policy analysis. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.
Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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.:
- Scott Barrett, 2008. "The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 45-54, January.
- François Bellavance & Georges Dionne & Martin Lebeau, 2006.
"The Value of a Statistical Life: a Meta-Analysis with a Mixed Effects Regression Model,"
Cahiers de recherche
- Bellavance, Franois & Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2009. "The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 444-464, March.
- Richard S.J. Tol, 2000. "Is the Uncertainty about Climate Change Too Large for Expected Cost-Benefit Analysis?," Working Papers FNU-3, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2000.
RePEc Biblio mentionsAs found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
- > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Climate economics
- > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Climate economics > Discounting, equity, uncertainty
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.