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Time perspective and climate change policy

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Author Info

  • Karp, Larry

    ()
    (University of California, Berkeley. Dept of agricultural and resource economics and policy)

  • Tsur, Yacov

Abstract

The tendency to foreshorten time units as we peer further into the future provides an explanation for hyperbolic discounting at an intergenerational time scale. We study implications of hyperbolic discounting for climate change policy, when the probability of a climate-induced catastrophe depends on the stock of greenhouse gasses. We provide a positive analysis by characterizing the set of Markov perfect equilibria (MPE) of the intergenerational game amongst a succession of policymakers. Each policymaker reflects her generation’s preferences, including its hyperbolic discounting. For a binary action game, we compare the MPE set to a “restricted commitment†benchmark. We compare the associated “constant equivalent discount rates†and the willingness to pay to control climate change with assumptions and recommendations in the Stern Review on Climate Change. “. . .My picture of the world is drawn in perspective. . . I apply my perspective not merely to space but also to time†—Ramsey.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy in its series CUDARE Working Paper Series with number 1062.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:are:cudare:1062

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Postal: University of California, Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics Library, 248 Giannini Hall #3310, Berkeley CA 94720-3310
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Related research

Keywords: climate change; uncertainty; Markov Perfect Equilibria;

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References

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  1. Karp, Larry, 2007. "Non-constant discounting in continuous time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 557-568, January.
  2. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
  3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History versus Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 651-67, May.
  4. Heal, G., 1998. "Valuing the Future: Economic Theory and Sustainability," Papers 98-10, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  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. 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.
  7. Karp, Larry S, 2004. "Global warming and hyperbolic discounting," CUDARE Working Paper Series 0934R, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  8. Skiba, A K, 1978. "Optimal Growth with a Convex-Concave Production Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(3), pages 527-39, May.
  9. Heal, Geoffrey, 2005. "Intertemporal Welfare Economics and the Environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1105-1145 Elsevier.
  10. 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.
  11. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2012. "Dynamic and stochastic analysis of environmental and natural resources," Discussion Papers 120017, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  2. Rick Van der Ploeg & Aart de Zeeuw, 2013. "Climate Policy and Catastrophic Change: Be Prepared and Avert Risk," Economics Series Working Papers OxCarre Research Paper 11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Karp, Larry & Zhao, Jinhua, 2008. "A proposal for the design of the successor to the Kyoto protocol," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1065, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  4. Thomas Michielsen, 2013. "Environmental Catastrophes under Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Working Papers 2013.55, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Tsvetanov, Tsvetan & Segerson, Kathleen, 2013. "Re-evaluating the role of energy efficiency standards: A behavioral economics approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 347-363.
  6. Larry S. Karp, 2009. "Sacrifice, Discounting and Climate Policy: Five Questions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2761, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Marín-Solano, Jesús & Navas, Jorge, 2009. "Non-constant discounting in finite horizon: The free terminal time case," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 666-675, March.
  8. Mark Kagan, 2012. "Climate Change Skepticism in the Face of Catastrophe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-112/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Michielsen, T.O., 2013. "Environmental Catastrophes Under Time-inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Paper 2013-013, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Armon Rezai & Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2012. "The Optimal Carbon Tax and Economic Growth: Additive versus Multiplicative Damages," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-05/12, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Ekaterina Sherstyuk & Nori Tarui & Majah-Leah V. Ravago & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2013. "Inter-Generational Games with Dynamic Externalities and Climate Change Experiments," Working Papers 201320, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  12. Iverson, Terrence, 2012. "Optimal Carbon Taxes with Non-Constant Time Preference," MPRA Paper 43264, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Mark Kagan, 2012. "Climate Change Skepticism in the Face of Catastrophe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-112/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Rolf Golombek & Mads Greaker & Michael Hoel, 2010. "Climate Policy without Commitment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2909, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Katerina Sherstyuk & Nori Tarui & Melinda Podor Wengrin & Jay Viloria & Tatsuyoshi Saijo, 2014. "Other-regarding behavior under collective action," Working Papers 201404, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  16. Yacov Tsur & Amos Zemel, 2009. "Endogenous Discounting and Climate Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 507-520, December.

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