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Dark Clouds or Silver Linings? Knightian Uncertainty and Climate Change

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  • Chen, Yu-Fu
  • Funke, Michael
  • Glanemann, Nicole

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of Knightian uncertainty upon optimal climate policy through the prism of a continuous-time real option modelling framework. We analytically determine optimal intertemporal climate policies under ambiguous assessments of climate damages. Additionally, numerical simulations are provided to illustrate the properties of the model. The results indicate that increasing Knightian uncertainty accelerates climate policy, i.e. policy makers become more reluctant to postpone the timing of climate policies into the future.

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File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/352
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2011-64.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:352

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Keywords: Climate change; Knightian uncertainty; K-ambiguity; real options;

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References

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  1. Michael Funke & Michael Paetz, 2007. "Environmental Policy Under Model Uncertainty: A Robust Optimal Control Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1938, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Robert S. Pindyck, 2009. "Uncertain Outcomes and Climate Change Policy," Working Papers 0907, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  3. Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "Additive Damages, Fat-Tailed Climate Dynamics, and Uncertain Discounting," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-26, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
  5. Antony Millner & Simon Dietz & Geoffrey Heal, 2010. "Ambiguity and Climate Policy," NBER Working Papers 16050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Ozaki, Hiroyuki, 2007. "Irreversible investment and Knightian uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 668-694, September.
  7. Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Takao Asano, 2010. "Precautionary Principle and the Optimal Timing of Environmental Policy Under Ambiguity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 173-196, October.
  9. Vardas, Giannis & XEPAPADEAS, Anastasios, 2008. "Model Uncertainty, Ambiguity and the Precautionary Principle: Implications for Biodiversity Management," MPRA Paper 10236, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A., 1976. "The valuation of options for alternative stochastic processes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 145-166.
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  12. Leahy, John V, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-33, November.
  13. Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, Patrick Criqui, Morna Isaac, Alban Kitous, Socrates Kypreos, Marian Leimbach, Kai Lessmann, Bertra, 2010. "The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
  14. Giuseppe Bertola, 2010. "Options, Inaction, And Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(s1), pages 254-271, 07.
  15. Brennan, Michael J. & Schwartz, Eduardo S., 1978. "Finite Difference Methods and Jump Processes Arising in the Pricing of Contingent Claims: A Synthesis," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 461-474, September.
  16. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael & Glanemann, Nicole, 2012. "Time is Running Out: The 2°C Target and Optimal Climate Policies," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-17, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

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