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Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?

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  • Svenja Hector()

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    Abstract

    The paper clarifies the link between changes in risk aversion and the effect on the consumption discount rate. In a general framework that can cope with various forms of uncertainty, it is shown that the response of the consumption discount rate to a change in risk aversion depends on some fundamental properties of the considered uncertainties. The application of this general result to specific forms of uncertainty extends existing results to more general forms of risk and yields a new result on preference uncertainty.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design in its series Working Papers with number ETH-RC-13-007.

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    Handle: RePEc:stz:wpaper:eth-rc-13-007

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    Keywords: discount rate; risk aversion; Kreps-Porteus-Selden; Risk-Sensitive preferences; uncertain preferences; climate change;

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    1. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
    2. Crost, Benjamin & Traeger, Christian P., 2010. "Risk and aversion in the integrated assessment of climate change," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1104R, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, revised Jul 2011.
    3. Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Intergenerational Equity and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 195-207, June.
    4. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Miles Kimball & Philippe Weil, 2009. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Smoothing across Time and Possibilities," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 245-284, 03.
    6. Frank Ackerman & Elizabeth Stanton & Ramón Bueno, 2013. "Epstein–Zin Utility in DICE: Is Risk Aversion Irrelevant to Climate Policy?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84, September.
    7. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Discounting an uncertain future," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 149-166, August.
    8. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, . "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP -119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Traeger, Christian P., 2012. "Why uncertainty matters - discounting under intertemporal risk aversion and ambiguity," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2w614303, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    10. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
    11. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Beltratti, Andrea & Heal, Geoffrey, 1998. "Uncertain future preferences and conservation," MPRA Paper 7912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Maria Cunha-E-Sá & Clara Costa-Duarte, 2000. "Endogenous Future Preferences and Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(2), pages 253-262, June.
    13. Alain Ayong Le Kama, 2012. "Preservation and Endogenous Uncertain Future Preferences," Working Papers 1204, Chaire Economie du Climat.
    14. Ayong Le Kama, A. & Schubert, K., 1999. "Growth, Environment and Uncertain Future Preferences," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 1999.52, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    15. Han Bleichrodt & Louis Eeckhoudt, 2005. "Saving under rank-dependent utility," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 505-511, 02.
    16. Chew, Soo Hong & Epstein, Larry G., 1990. "Nonexpected utility preferences in a temporal framework with an application to consumption-savings behaviour," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 54-81, February.
    17. Yongyang Cai & Kenneth L. Judd & Thomas S. Lontzek, 2013. "The Social Cost of Stochastic and Irreversible Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 18704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Bommier, Antoine & Chassagnon, Arnold & Le Grand, François, 2010. "Comparative Risk Aversion: A Formal Approach with Applications to Savings Behaviors," TSE Working Papers 10-141, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    19. Keith C. Knapp & Lars J. Olson, 1996. "Dynamic Resource Management: Intertemporal Substitution and Risk Aversion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1004-1014.
    20. Christian P. Traeger, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Intertemporal Modeling of Uncertainty," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 261-285, 09.
    21. repec:hal:journl:hal-00267891 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    23. Selden, Larry, 1978. "A New Representation of Preferences over "Certain A Uncertain" Consumption Pairs: The "Ordinal Certainty Equivalent" Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1045-60, September.
    24. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
    25. Epaulard, Anne & Pommeret, Aude, 2003. "Optimally eating a stochastic cake: a recursive utility approach," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 129-139, May.
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