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Quasi-option value and climate policy choices

  • Ha-Duong, Minh

In the climate change issue, the environmental irreversibility (risk of an acceleration of mitigation policies if the worse happen) has to be balanced with the investment irreversibility (risk of over-cautious policies). To explore this balance, we define an option value for a precautionary climate policy. Using the simplest decision-making model, we expose how option value relates to the expected value of future information. Using quantitative data from an integrated as sessment model, we find that most of the times the environmental irreversibility dominates the investment irreversibility. For all cases explored here, the order of magnitude of the option value was significant, about 50% of the opportunity cost.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (1998)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (December)
Pages: 599-620

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:20:y:1998:i:5-6:p:599-620
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  1. Kolstad, Charles D., 1994. "George Bush versus Al Gore : Irreversibilities in greenhouse gas accumulation and emission control investment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 771-778, September.
  2. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1997. "Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 636-50, May.
  3. Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Salles, Jean-Michel & Thery, Daniel, 1992. "Ecological economics and scientific controversies. Lessons from some recent policy making in the EEC," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 211-233, December.
  4. Fisher, Anthony C. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 1987. "Quasi-option value: Some misconceptions dispelled," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 183-190, June.
  5. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  6. Minh Ha-Duong & Michael Grubb & Jean Charles Hourcade, 1997. "Influence of socioeconomic inertia and uncertainty on optimal CO2-emission abatement," Post-Print halshs-00002452, HAL.
  7. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
  8. Fisher, Anthony C & Hanemann, W Michael, 1990. "Option Value: Theory and Measurement," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 167-80.
  9. 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.
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