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Is there space for agreement on climate change? A non-parametric approach to policy evaluation

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  • Simon Dietz
  • Anca N. Matei
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    Abstract

    Economic evaluation of climate policy is notoriously dependent on assumptions about time and risk preferences, since reducing greenhouse gas emissions today has a highly uncertain pay-off, far into the future. These assumptions have always been much debated. Rather than occupy a position in this debate, we take a non-parametric approach here, based on the concept of Time-Stochastic Dominance. Using an integrated assessment model, we apply Time-Stochastic Dominance analysis to climate change, asking are there global emissions abatement targets that everyone who shares a broad class of time and risk preferences would agree to prefer? Overall we find that even tough emissions targets would be chosen by almost everyone, barring those with arguably `extreme' preferences.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 136.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp136

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    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Levy, Haim & Hanoch, Giora, 1970. "Relative Effectiveness of Efficiency Criteria for Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 63-76, March.
    3. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    4. Dietz, Simon & Asheim, Geir B., 2012. "Climate policy under sustainable discounted utilitarianism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 321-335.
    5. Simon Dietz & Anca N. Matei, 2013. "Spaces for agreement: a theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 137, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    6. Richard Tol, 2012. "On the Uncertainty About the Total Economic Impact of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(1), pages 97-116, September.
    7. Reyer Gerlagh, 2012. "Carbon Prices for the Next Thousand Years," Review of Environment, Energy and Economics - Re3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Barry ANDERSON & Emanuele BORGONOVO & Marzio GALEOTTI & Roberto ROSON, 2012. "Uncertainty in climate change modelling: can global sensitivity analysis be of help?," Departmental Working Papers 2012-18, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    10. Antony Millner & Simon Dietz & Geoffrey Heal, 2013. "Scientific Ambiguity and Climate Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 21-46, May.
    11. Masako Ikefuji & Roger Laeven & Jan Magnus & Chris Muris, 2013. "Pareto utility," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(1), pages 43-57, July.
    12. Millner, Antony, 2013. "On welfare frameworks and catastrophic climate risks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 310-325.
    13. Robert S. Pindyck, 2010. "Fat Tails, Thin Tails, and Climate Change Policy," Working Papers 1012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    14. Weitzman, Martin L., 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Scholarly Articles 11315435, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    15. 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.
    16. Simon Dietz, 2011. "High impact, low probability? An empirical analysis of risk in the economics of climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 519-541, October.
    17. Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, 03.
    18. Partha Dasgupta, 2007. "The Stern Review's economics of climate change," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 199(1), pages 4-7, January.
    19. Gollier, Christian, 2006. "An Evaluation of Stern's Report on the Economics of Climate Change," IDEI Working Papers 464, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    20. Moshe Leshno & Haim Levy, 2002. "Preferred by "All" and Preferred by "Most" Decision Makers: Almost Stochastic Dominance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(8), pages 1074-1085, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Simon Dietz & Anca N. Matei, 2013. "Spaces for agreement: a theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 137, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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