Economists and Ecologists: Different Frames of Reference for Global Climate Change
AbstractEconomists and ecologists, in general, have offered differing opinions about the seriousness of climate change and the need for rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Economists have tended to urge caution, focusing on the potential for large-scale cutbacks to upset the economy. Ecologists have tended to focus on the potential for catastrophic losses from climate change, and have urged extensive shifts in policy. This paper uses the tools of cost benefit analysis and the decision sciences to examine why members of the two disciplines often reach different conclusions. First, economists and ecologists start from different perspectives about what is the point of reference against which policies should be judged. Second, economists and ecologists tend to apply different discount rates to future impacts of climate change. Third, economists and ecologists are likely to interpret differently the substantive findings and expressed uncertainties of formal cost-benefit analysis. Using a simplified version of the DICE model of climate change, this paper explores how these different viewpoints can be expressed in practice.
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 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in its series Working Papers with number ir97056.
Date of creation: Aug 1997
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: A-2361 Laxenburg
Web page: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Publications/Catalog/PUB_ONLINE.html
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Chapuis, Thierry, 1995. "No-regret potentials and technical innovation : A viability approach to integrated assessment of climate policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 433-445.
- Lind, Robert C, 1995. "Intergenerational equity, discounting, and the role of cost-benefit analysis in evaluating global climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 379-389.
- Manne, Alan S. & Richels, Richard G., 1991. "Buying greenhouse insurance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 543-552.
- Dowlatabadi, Hadi, 1995. "Integrated assessment models of climate change : An incomplete overview," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 289-296.
- Hope, Chris & Maul, Philip, 1996. "Valuing the impact of CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 211-219, March.
- Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Toth, Ferenc L, 1995. "Discounting in integrated assessments of climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 403-409.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1995. "Intergenerational discounting," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 395-401.
- William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39.
- Michael Grubb & Chapuis Thierry & Minh Ha-Duong, 1995.
"The economics of changing course: implications of adaptability and inertia for optimal climate policy,"
- Grubb, Michael & Chapuis, Thierry & Duong, Minh Ha, 1995. "The economics of changing course : Implications of adaptability and inertia for optimal climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 417-431.
- Jinxia Wang & Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle & Lijuan Zhang, 2009. "The impact of climate change on China's agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 323-337, 05.
- Nordhaus, William D, 1993. "Optimal Greenhouse-Gas Reductions and Tax Policy in the "Dice" Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 313-17, May.
- Peck, Stephen C. & Teisberg, Thomas J., 1993. "Global warming uncertainties and the value of information: an analysis using CETA," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 71-97, March.
- William D. Nordhaus, 1991. "The Cost of Slowing Climate Change: a Survey," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 37-66.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1992. "Some Economics of Global Warming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 1-14, March.
- Manne, Alan S, 1995. "The rate of time preference : Implications for the greenhouse debate," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 391-394.
- Maddison, David, 1995. "A cost-benefit analysis of slowing climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 337-346.
- A. Patt, 1997. "Assessing Extreme Outcomes: The Strategic Treatment of Low Probability Impacts of Climate Change," Working Papers ir97037, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
- Peck, Stephen C & Teisberg, Thomas J, 1995. "International CO2 emissions control : An analysis using CETA," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 297-308.
- Ausubel, Jesse H, 1995. "Technical progress and climatic change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 411-416.
- Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1959. "Stationary Ordinal Utility and Impatience," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 81, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.