Is the Uncertainty about Climate Change Too Large for Expected Cost-Benefit Analysis?
AbstractCost-benefit analysis is only applicable if the variances of both costs and benefits are finite. In the case of climate change, the variances of the net present marginal costs and benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction need to be finite. Finiteness is hard, if not impossible to prove. The opposite is easier to establish as one needs to shows that there is one, not impossible representation of the climate change with infinite variance. The paper shows that all relevant current variables of the FUND model have finite variances. However, there is a small chance that climate change reverses economic growth in some regions. In that case, the discount rate becomes negative and the net present marginal benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction becomes very large. So large, that its variance is unbounded.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-3.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2000
Date of revision: Sep 2000
Publication status: Published, Climatic Change, 56 (3), 265-289
Climate change; cost-benefit analysis; uncertainty;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kolstad, Charles D., 1996. "Learning and Stock Effects in Environmental Regulation: The Case of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, July.
- Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
- Manne, Alan & Mendelsohn, Robert & Richels, Richard, 1995. "MERGE : A model for evaluating regional and global effects of GHG reduction policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 17-34, January.
- Martin Weitzman, 2007.
"Structural Uncertainty and the Value of Statistical Life in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change,"
NBER Working Papers
13490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2007. "Structural Uncertainty and the Value of Statistical Life in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Working paper 545, Regulation2point0.
- Anda, Jon & Golub, Alexander & Strukova, Elena, 2009. "Economics of climate change under uncertainty: Benefits of flexibility," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1345-1355, April.
- 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.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Scott, Susan & Watson, Dorothy, 2009. "Cost-benefit Analysis of the Introduction of Weight-based Charges for Domestic Waste ? West Cork's Experience," Papers WP335, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Uwe Schneider).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.