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Discounting And Climate Change Policy

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  • Karp, Larry S.
  • Tsur, Yacov

Abstract

A constant social discount rate cannot reflect both a reasonable opportunity cost of public funds and an ethically defensible concern for generations in the distant future. We use a model of hyperbolic discounting that achieves both goals. We imbed this discounting model in a simple climate change model to calculate constant equivalent discount rates" and plausible levels of expenditure to control climate change. We compare these results to discounting assumptions and policy recommendations in the Stern Review on Climate Change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management in its series Discussion Papers with number 7149.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:huaedp:7149

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Postal: Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100
Phone: 08-9481230
Fax: 08-9466267
Web page: http://departments.agri.huji.ac.il/economics/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: discounting; climate change modeling; Stern Review; Markov Perfect Equilibria; Environmental Economics and Policy; C61; C73; D63; D99; Q54;

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  1. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1996. "Accounting for global warming risks: Resource management under event uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1289-1305.
  3. Karp, Larry, 2004. "Global Warming and Hyperbolic Discounting," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5zh730nc, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  4. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1994. "Preferences for Life Saving Programs: How the Public Discounts Time and Age," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 243-65, May.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson In The Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152, November.
  6. Karp, Larry S. & Tsur, Yacov, 2007. "Climate Policy When The Distant Future Matters: Catastrophic Events With Hyperbolic Discounting," Discussion Papers 7181, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  7. 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.
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