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The Optimal Carbon Tax and Economic Growth: Additive versus multiplicative damages

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  • Armon Rezai
  • Frederick van der Ploeg
  • Cees Withagen

Abstract

In a calibrated integrated assessment model we investigate the differentia impact of additive and multiplicative damages from climate change for both a socially optimal and a business-as-usual scenario in the market economy within the context of a Ramsey model of economic growth. The sources ofenergy are fossil fuel which is available at a cost which rises as reserves diminish and a carbon-free backstop supplied at a decreasing cost. if damages are not proportional to aggregate production output, and the economy is along a development path, the social cost of carbon and the optimal carbon tax are smaller as damages can more easily be compensated for by higher output. As a result, the economy switches later from fossil fuel to the carbon-free backstop and leaves less fossil fuel in situ. This is in contrast to a partial equilibrium analysis with dmages in utility rather than in production which finds that the willingness to forsake current consumption to avoid future global warming is higher (lower) under additive damages in a growing economy if the elasticity of intertemporal substitution is smaller (bigger) than one.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 093.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:093

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Keywords: climate change; multiplicative damages; additive damages; integrated assessment models; Ramsey growth model; fossil fuel; carbon-free backstop;

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  1. John, A & Pecchenino, R, 1994. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1393-1410, November.
  2. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1996. "Accounting for global warming risks: Resource management under event uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1289-1305.
  3. Rezai, Armon, 2010. "Recast The Dice And Its Policy Recommendations," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(S2), pages 275-289, November.
  4. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2010. "Is there really a Green Paradox?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-020/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Aug 2012.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "Additive damages, fat-tailed climate dynamics, and uncertain discounting," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(39), pages 1-29.
  6. Reyer Gerlagh & Matti Liski, 2012. "Carbon Prices for the Next Thousand Years," CESifo Working Paper Series 3855, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Nikita Lyssenko & Leslie M. Shiell, 2004. "Computing Business-as-Usual with a Representative Agent and a Pollution Externality," Working Papers 0409E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2010. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," Working Papers 2010.93, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Frederick Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 1991. "Pollution control and the Ramsey problem," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 215-236, June.
  10. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Olovsson, Conny, 2012. "Energy-Saving Technical Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 9177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Lucas Bretschger & Sjak Smulders, 2007. "Sustainable Resource Use and Economic Dynamics," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 1-13, January.
  12. Armon Rezai & Duncan Foley & Lance Taylor, 2012. "Global warming and economic externalities," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 329-351, February.
  13. 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.
  14. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
  15. Rémy Dullieux & Lionel Ragot & Katheline Schubert, 2011. "Carbon Tax and OPEC’s Rents Under a Ceiling Constraint," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(4), pages 798-824, December.
  16. Linus Mattauch & Felix Creutzig & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2012. "Avoiding Carbon Lock-In: Policy Options for Advancing Structural Change," Working Papers 1, Department of Climate Change Economics, TU Berlin, revised Feb 2012.
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Cited by:
  1. Lucas Bretschger & Christos Karydas, 2013. "Optimum Growth and Carbon Policies with Lags in the Climate System," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/184, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 2013. "Global Warming and the Green Paradox," OxCarre Working Papers 116, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Moreaux, Michel & Withagen, Cees, 2013. "Climate Change and Carbon Capture and Storage," IDEI Working Papers 774, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Mark Kagan, 2012. "Climate Change Skepticism in the Face of Catastrophe," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-112/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.

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