Fat Tails and the Social Cost of Carbon
At high enough greenhouse gas concentrations, climate change might conceivably cause catastrophic damages with small but non-negligible probabilities. If the bad tail of climate damages is sufficiently fat, and if the coefficient of relative risk aversion is greater than one, the catastrophe-reducing insurance aspect of mitigation investments could in theory have a strong influence on raising the social cost of carbon. In this paper I exposit the influence of fat tails on climate change economics in a simple stark formulation focused on the social cost of carbon. I then attempt to place the basic underlying issues within a balanced perspective.
Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
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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.:
- 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.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2011. "Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
- Millner, Antony, 2013. "On welfare frameworks and catastrophic climate risks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 310-325.
- Robert S. Pindyck, 2013.
"Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?,"
NBER Working Papers
19244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 860-72, September.
- Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Environmental Protection, Rare Disasters, and Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 19258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antony Millner, 2013. "On Welfare Frameworks and Catastrophic Climate Risks," CESifo Working Paper Series 4442, CESifo Group Munich.
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