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Incorporating Investment Uncertainty into Greenhouse Policy Models


  • John R. Birge
  • Charles H. Rosa


Greenhouse gas policy decisions require comprehensive understanding of atmospheric, economic, and social impacts. Many studies have considered the effects of atmospheric uncertainty in global warming, but economic uncertainties, have received Less analysis. We consider a key component of economic uncertainty: the return on investments in new technologies. Using a mathematical! programming model, we show that ignoring uncertainty in technology investment policy may lead to decreases as great as 2 percent in overall expected economic activity in the U.S. with even higher losses in possible future scenarios. These results indicate that both federal and private technology investment policies should be based on models explicitly incorporating uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • John R. Birge & Charles H. Rosa, 1996. "Incorporating Investment Uncertainty into Greenhouse Policy Models," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 79-89.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1996v17-01-a05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. " Business Cycles and the Behavior of Metals Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(5), pages 1075-1093, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. W. Botzen & Jeroen Bergh, 2014. "Specifications of Social Welfare in Economic Studies of Climate Policy: Overview of Criteria and Related Policy Insights," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 1-33, May.
    2. Lin, Tyrone T. & Ko, Chuan-Chuan & Yeh, Hsin-Ni, 2007. "Applying real options in investment decisions relating to environmental pollution," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2426-2432, April.
    3. Kanudia, Amit & Loulou, Richard, 1998. "Robust responses to climate change via stochastic MARKAL: The case of Quebec," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 15-30, April.
    4. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2004. "Optimal climate policy is a utopia: from quantitative to qualitative cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 385-393, April.
    5. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Optimal diversity: Increasing returns versus recombinant innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 565-580, December.
    6. Bistline, John E., 2015. "Electric sector capacity planning under uncertainty: Climate policy and natural gas in the US," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 236-251.
    7. Svensson, Elin & Berntsson, Thore & Strömberg, Ann-Brith & Patriksson, Michael, 2009. "An optimization methodology for identifying robust process integration investments under uncertainty," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 680-685, February.
    8. Baranzini, Andrea & Chesney, Marc & Morisset, Jacques, 2003. "The impact of possible climate catastrophes on global warming policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 691-701, June.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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