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Environmental Policy Under Model Uncertainty: A Robust Optimal Control Approach

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  • Michael Funke
  • Michael Paetz

Abstract

Model uncertainty is inherent in the design of optimal environmental policy. We investigate the consequences in a simple linear model, where the aim of the policymaker is to stabilize the carbon content of the atmosphere. We study how decision-makers' concerns about robustness alter policy using the Hansen and Sargent (2000, 2003, 2007) approach. The analysis shows that a policymaker, who fears model misspecification should react more aggressively to changes in the stock of atmospheric carbon and implement policies which deliver a greater reduction of emissions.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-03/cesifo1_wp1938.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1938.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1938

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Keywords: robust control model uncertainty; environmental policy;

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References

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  1. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  2. Fidel Gonzalez, 2008. "Precautionary Principle and Robustness for a Stock Pollutant with Multiplicative Risk," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(1), pages 25-46, September.
  3. Roughgarden, Tim & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Climate change policy: quantifying uncertainties for damages and optimal carbon taxes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 415-429, July.
  4. van Vuuren, Detlef P. & Weyant, John & de la Chesnaye, Francisco, 2006. "Multi-gas scenarios to stabilize radiative forcing," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 102-120, January.
  5. Keller, Klaus & Bolker, Benjamin M. & Bradford, D.F.David F., 2004. "Uncertain climate thresholds and optimal economic growth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 723-741, July.
  6. Mort Webster, 2002. "The Curious Role of "Learning" in Climate Policy: Should We Wait for More Data?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 97-119.
  7. Kai Leitemo & Ulf Soderstrom, 2004. "Robust Monetary Policy in the New-Keynesian Framework," Working Papers 273, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Baker, Erin, 2005. "Uncertainty and learning in a strategic environment: global climate change," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 19-40, January.
  9. Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
  10. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  11. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  12. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2003. "Robust control of forward-looking models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-604, April.
  13. Pindyck, Robert S., 1998. "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy," Working papers WP 4047-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Christodoulakis, Nicos & Kemball-Cook, David & Levine, Paul, 1993. "The Design of Economic Policy under Model Uncertainty," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 6(3-4), pages 219-40, November.
  16. Kilponen, Juha, 2004. "Robust expectations and uncertain models – A robust control approach with application to the New Keynesian economy," Research Discussion Papers 5/2004, Bank of Finland.
  17. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Robustness and U.S. Monetary Policy Experimentation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1599-1623, December.
  18. Catarina Roseta-Palma & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2004. "Robust Control in Water Management," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 21-34, 07.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke & Nicole Glanemann, 2011. "Dark Clouds or Silver Linings? Knightian Uncertainty and Climate Change," CESifo Working Paper Series 3516, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
  3. Athanassoglou, Stergios & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2012. "Pollution control with uncertain stock dynamics: When, and how, to be precautious," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 304-320.
  4. Robert Lempert & Shawn McKay, 2011. "Some thoughts on the role of robust control theory in climate-related decision support," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 241-246, August.

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