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Climate Policy without Commitment

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Author Info

  • Golombek, Rolf

    (The Frisch Center for Economic Research)

  • Greaker, Mads

    (Statistics Norway)

  • Hoel, Michael

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

Climate mitigation policy should be imposed over a long period, and spur development of new technologies in order to make stabilization of green house gas concentrations economically feasible. The government may announce current and future policy packages that stimulate current R&D in climate-friendly technologies. However, once climate-friendly technologies have been developed, the government may have no incentive to implement the pre-announced future policies, that is, there may be a time inconsistency problem. We show that if the government can optimally subsidize R&D today, there is no time inconsistency problem. Thus, lack of commitment is not an argument for higher current R&D subsidies. If the o¤ered R&D subsidy is lower than the optimal subsidy, the current (sub-game perfect) climate tax should exceed the …rst-best climate tax.

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File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2010/Memo-02-2010.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 02/2010.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 11 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2010_002

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: Time consistency; carbon tax; climate policy; R&D; endogenous technological change;

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References

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  1. Karp, Larry & Tsur, Yacov, 2008. "Time perspective and climate change policy," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt04k4b21g, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1999. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D"," Working Papers 99015, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  4. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl, 2009. "Optimal Timing of Climate Change Policy: Interaction Between Carbon Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 369-390, July.
  5. Mads Greaker & Lise-Lotte Pade, 2008. "Optimal CO2 abatement and technological change. Should emission taxes start high in order to spur R&D?," Discussion Papers 548, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  6. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-77, March.
  7. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  8. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  9. Till Requate, 2005. "Timing and Commitment of Environmental Policy, Adoption of New Technology, and Repercussions on R&D," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 175-199, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Alistair Ulph & David Ulph, 2013. "Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(2), pages 161-176, October.

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