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Regime shifts and uncertainty in pollution control

  • de Zeeuw, Aart
  • Zemel, Amos

We develop a simple model of managing a system subject to pollution damage, such as climate change, under the risk of an abrupt and random jump in the damage function. The model allows the full dynamic characterization of the optimal emission policies under uncertainty. The results imply precautionary behavior in contrast with the ambiguous outcomes reported in the literature for models of catastrophic occurrences. The framework is used to analyze the adaptation vs. mitigation dilemma and provides a simple criterion to determine when adaptation activities should be undertaken.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 939-950

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:36:y:2012:i:7:p:939-950
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Dockner Engelbert J. & Van Long Ngo, 1993. "International Pollution Control: Cooperative versus Noncooperative Strategies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 13-29, July.
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  7. Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Bruno Nkuiya, 2011. "International Emission Strategies under the Threat of a Sudden Jump in Damages," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2011-1, CREATE.
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  10. Brozovic, Nicholas & Schlenker, Wolfram, 2011. "Optimal management of an ecosystem with an unknown threshold," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 627-640, February.
  11. van der Ploeg, F. & de Zeeuw, A.J., 1990. "International aspects of pollution control," Discussion Paper 1990-65, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1998. "Pollution control in an uncertain environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 967-975, June.
  13. Zmarak Shalizi & Franck Lecocq, 2010. "To Mitigate or to Adapt: Is that the Question? Observations on an Appropriate Response to the Climate Change Challenge to Development Strategies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 295-321, August.
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  15. Barry Smit & Ian Burton & Richard Klein & J. Wandel, 2000. "An Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 223-251, April.
  16. Gollier, Christian & Treich, Nicolas, 2003. " Decision-Making under Scientific Uncertainty: The Economics of the Precautionary Principle," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-103, August.
  17. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "The "Stern Review" on the Economics of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 12741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2001. "The infinite horizon dynamic optimization problem revisited: A simple method to determine equilibrium states," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 131(3), pages 482-490, June.
  19. Yacov Tsur & Amos Zemel, 2009. "Endogenous Discounting and Climate Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 507-520, December.
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