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Sacrifice, discounting and climate policy: five questions

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  • Karp, Larry

Abstract

I provide a selective review of discounting and climate policy. After reviewing evidence on the importance of the discount rate in setting policy, I ask whether standard models tend to exaggerate the sacrifices that the current generation needs to undertake in order to internalize climate damages. I then consider whether the risk of catastrophic damage really overwhelms discounting, in the determination of optimal policy. I revisit the question of how we actually think about the distant future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt1zq431s8.

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Date of creation: 12 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt1zq431s8

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Related research

Keywords: climate change; discounting; intergenerational conflict; catastrophic risk; hyperbolic discounting; Life Sciences;

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References

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  1. Karp, Larry & Tsur, Yacov, 2008. "Time perspective and climate change policy," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1062, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
  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. Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 2004. "Risk aversion, intergenerational equity and climate change," Post-Print halshs-00000680, HAL.
  5. Traeger, Christian P., 2008. "Sustainability, Limited Substitutability and Non-Constant Social Discount Rates," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt10d7d7n4, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  6. 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.
  7. Thomas Sterner & U. Martin Persson, 2008. "An Even Sterner Review: Introducing Relative Prices into the Discounting Debate," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 61-76, Winter.
  8. Armon Rezai & Duncan Foley & Lance Taylor, 2012. "Global warming and economic externalities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 329-351, February.
  9. Fujii, Tomoki & Karp, Larry, 2008. "Numerical analysis of non-constant pure rate of time preference: A model of climate policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 83-101, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Foley, Duncan K. & Rezai, Armon & Taylor, Lance, 2013. "The social cost of carbon emissions: Seven propositions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 90-97.
  2. Horowitz, John & Lange, Andreas, 2014. "Cost–benefit analysis under uncertainty — A note on Weitzman's dismal theorem," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 201-203.

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