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Does the social Cost of Carbon Matter?: An Assessment of U.S. Policy

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  • Robert w. Hahn
  • Robert A. Ritz
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    Abstract

    we evaluate a recent u.s. initiative to include the social cost of carbon (sCc) in regulatory decisions. To our knowledge, this paper provides the first systematic test of the extent to which applying the SCC has affected national policy. we examine all economically significant federal regulations since 2008, and obtain a surprising result: Putting a value on changes in carbon dioxide emissions does not generally affect the ranking of the preferred policy compared with the status quo. overall, we find little evidence that use of the SCC has affected u.s. policy choices to date. we offer an explanation related to the political economy of regulation.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1346.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1346.

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    Date of creation: 27 Nov 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1346

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    Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Cost-Benefit Analysis; Social Cost of Carbon; Climate Policy; Regulatory Innovation;

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    1. Anthoff, David & Rose, Steven & Tol, Richard S. J. & Waldhoff, Stephanie, 2011. "Regional and sectoral estimates of the social cost of carbon: An application of FUND," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    2. repec:reg:wpaper:579 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-77, March.
    4. Robert A. Ritz, 2009. "Carbon leakage under incomplete environmental regulation: An industry-level approach," Economics Series Working Papers 461, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Marten, Alex L. & Newbold, Stephen C., 2012. "Estimating the social cost of non-CO2 GHG emissions: Methane and nitrous oxide," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 957-972.
    6. Robert W. Hahn & Paul C. Tetlock, 2008. "Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 67-84, Winter.
    7. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
    8. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    9. repec:reg:wpaper:98 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Cropper, Maureen L. & Eads, George C. & Hahn, Robert W. & Lave, Lester B. & Noll, Roger G. & Portney, Paul R. & Russell, Milson & Schmalensee, Richard & Smith, V. Kerry & Stavins, , 1997. "Is there a role for benefit-cost analysis in environmental, health, and safety regulation?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 195-221, May.
    11. Lucas W. Davis & Erich Muehlegger, 2010. "Do Americans Consume Too Little Natural Gas? An Empirical Test of Marginal Cost Pricing," NBER Working Papers 15885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
    13. Barnett, A H, 1980. "The Pigouvian Tax Rule under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1037-41, December.
    14. 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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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. SCC: much ado about nothing?
      by John Whitehead in Environmental Economics on 2013-12-10 10:58:32

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