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The Economic Cost of CO2 Emission Cuts

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  • Zhao, Xiaobing
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    Abstract

    We follow Schmalensee, Stoker, and Judson (1998) to forecast CO2 emissions based on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). Our findings suggest that the EKC will not lead to significant decreases in CO2 emissions even by 2050 for countries with the highest incomes. Therefore, mandatory emissions cuts are required to limit climate change. In the same spirit of Horowitz (2009) and Ng and Zhao (2010), we then use a reduced-form approach to estimate the economic costs of mandatory emission cuts. Based on our parameter estimates, we find that a 25% mandatory deduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 will lead to a 5.63% decrease in the combined GDP of the 19 OECD countries, and a 40% deduction will result in a 12.92% loss in income (holding other relevant variables constant)! Our estimates are substantially higher than those in Paltsev, Reillya, Jacobya, and Morris (2009) and Dellink, Briner and Clapp (2010), and suggest that the economic cost to limit climate change as envisioned in the Copenhagen Accord may be substantial and more research should be done before mandatory emission cuts are implemented.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with number 103413.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103413

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    Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Carbon Dioxide Emissions; Economic Cost; Climate Change; Environmental Economics and Policy;

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    1. Vollebergh, Herman R.J. & Melenberg, Bertrand & Dijkgraaf, Elbert, 2009. "Identifying reduced-form relations with panel data: The case of pollution and income," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 27-42, July.
    2. Herman R.J. Vollebergh & Bertrand Melenberg & Elbert Dijkgraaf, 2007. "Identifying Reduced-Form Relations with Panel Data," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-072/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Kijima, Masaaki & Nishide, Katsumasa & Ohyama, Atsuyuki, 2010. "Economic models for the environmental Kuznets curve: A survey," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1187-1201, July.
    4. Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
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