IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Abrupt positive feedback and the social cost of carbon

  • van der Ploeg, Frederick

Optimal climate policy should act in a precautionary fashion to deal with tipping points that occur at some future random moment. The optimal carbon tax should include an additional component on top of the conventional present discounted value of marginal global warming damages. This component increases with the sensitivity of the hazard to temperature or the stock of atmospheric carbon. If the hazard of a catastrophe is constant, no correction is needed of the usual Pigouvian tax. The results are applied to a tipping point resulting from an abrupt and irreversible release of greenhouse gases from the ocean floors and surface of the earth, which set in motion a positive feedback loop. Convex enough hazard functions cause overshooting of the carbon tax, but a linear hazard function gives rise to undershooting. A more convex hazard function and a high discount rate speed up adjustment.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292114000063
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 67 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 28-41

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:28-41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Frederick van der Ploeg & Aart de Zeeuw, 2013. "CLIMATE POLICY AND CATASTROPHIC CHANGE: Be Prepared and Avert Risk," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-02/13, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Karp, Larry & Tsur, Yacov, 2011. "Time perspective and climate change policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-14, July.
  3. Derek Lemoine & Christian Traeger, 2014. "Watch Your Step: Optimal Policy in a Tipping Climate," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 137-66, February.
  4. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1996. "Accounting for global warming risks: Resource management under event uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1289-1305.
  5. Naevdal, Eric, 2006. "Dynamic optimisation in the presence of threshold effects when the location of the threshold is uncertain - with an application to a possible disintegration of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1131-1158, July.
  6. Stephen Polasky & Aart de Zeeuw & Florian Wagener, 2010. "Optimal Management with Potential Regime Shifts," CESifo Working Paper Series 3237, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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.
  8. Clarke, Harry R. & Reed, William J., 1994. "Consumption/pollution tradeoffs in an environment vulnerable to pollution-related catastrophic collapse," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 991-1010, September.
  9. Robert S. Pindyck, 2012. "The Climate Policy Dilemma," NBER Working Papers 18205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fabien Prieur & Mabel Tidball & Cees A. Withagen, 2011. "Optimal Emission-Extraction Policy in a World of Scarcity and Irreversibility," CESifo Working Paper Series 3512, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Why the Far-Distant Future Should Be Discounted at Its Lowest Possible Rate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 201-208, November.
  13. Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Discounting with Fat-Tailed Economic Growth," IDEI Working Papers 523, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  14. Aart de Zeeuw & Amos Zemel, 2012. "Regime Shifts and Uncertainty in Pollution Control," CESifo Working Paper Series 3697, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Mikhail Golosov & John Hassler & Per Krusell & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2011. "Optimal Taxes on Fossil Fuel in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 17348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Elizabeth Kopits & Alex L. Marten & Ann Wolverton, 2013. "Moving Forward with Incorporating "Catastrophic" Climate Change into Policy Analysis," NCEE Working Paper Series 201301, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2013.
  17. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Moreaux, Michel, 2012. "Potential Irreversible Catastrophic Shifts of the Assimilative Capacity of the Environment," LERNA Working Papers 12.01.358, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  18. Yacov Tsur & Amos Zemel, 2008. "Regulating environmental threats," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 297-310, March.
  19. Cropper, M. L., 1976. "Regulating activities with catastrophic environmental effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15, June.
  20. Christian Gollier, 2012. "Pricing the Planet's Future: The Economics of Discounting in an Uncertain World," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 9894, April.
  21. Timothy Lenton & Juan-Carlos Ciscar, 2013. "Integrating tipping points into climate impact assessments," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 585-597, April.
  22. Frederick van der Ploeg & Aart de Zeeuw, 2013. "Climate Tipping and Economic Growth: Precautionary Capital and the Price of Carbon," OxCarre Working Papers 118, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  23. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:67:y:2014:i:c:p:28-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.