IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v89y2016icp25-35.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Fat-tailed risk about climate change and climate policy

Author

Listed:
  • Hwang, In Chang
  • Tol, Richard S.J.
  • Hofkes, Marjan W.

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of emissions control in welfare maximization under fat-tailed risk about climate change. We provide a classification of fat tails and discuss the effect of fat-tailed risk on climate policy. One of the main findings is that emissions control may prevent the “strong” tail-effect from arising, at least under some conditions such as bounded temperature increases, low risk aversion, low damage costs, and bounded utility function. More specifically, the fat-tailed risk with respect to a climate parameter does not necessarily lead to an unbounded carbon tax. In this case, the basic principle of cost-benefit analysis maintains its applicability.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, In Chang & Tol, Richard S.J. & Hofkes, Marjan W., 2016. "Fat-tailed risk about climate change and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 25-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:89:y:2016:i:c:p:25-35
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.11.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421515301907
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Horowitz, John & Lange, Andreas, 2014. "Cost–benefit analysis under uncertainty — A note on Weitzman's dismal theorem," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 201-203.
    2. 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.
    3. Kenneth L. Judd & Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2011. "Numerically stable and accurate stochastic simulation approaches for solving dynamic economic models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), pages 173-210, July.
    4. Antony Millner, 2013. "On Welfare Frameworks and Catastrophic Climate Risks," CESifo Working Paper Series 4442, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Ikefuji, M. & Laeven, R.J.A. & Magnus, J.R. & Muris, C.H.M., 2010. "Expected Utility and Catastrophic Risk in a Stochastic Economy-Climate Model," Discussion Paper 2010-122, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. 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 137-166, February.
    7. Richard S. J. Tol & In Chang Hwang & Frédéric Reynès, 2012. "The Effect of Learning on Climate Policy under Fat-tailed Uncertainty," Working Paper Series 5312, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    8. Stephen Newbold & Adam Daigneault, 2009. "Climate Response Uncertainty and the Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 351-377, November.
    9. Martin Weitzman, 2013. "A Precautionary Tale of Uncertain Tail Fattening," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(2), pages 159-173, June.
    10. Robert S. Pindyck, 2011. "Fat Tails, Thin Tails, and Climate Change Policy," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 258-274, Summer.
    11. Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
    12. In Hwang & Frédéric Reynès & Richard Tol, 2013. "Climate Policy Under Fat-Tailed Risk: An Application of Dice," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(3), pages 415-436, November.
    13. Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(2), pages 221-244, March.
    14. Karp, Larry S., 2009. "Sacrifice, discounting and climate policy : five questions," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1086, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
    15. Larry S. Karp, 2009. "Sacrifice, Discounting and Climate Policy: Five Questions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2761, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Nicholas Stern, 2013. "The Structure of Economic Modeling of the Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Grafting Gross Underestimation of Risk onto Already Narrow Science Models," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 838-859, September.
    17. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, March.
    18. Marten, Alex L., 2011. "Transient temperature response modeling in IAMs: The effects of over simplification on the SCC," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 5, pages 1-42.
    19. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1974. "The Use of Unbounded Utility Functions in Expected-Utility Maximization: Response," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 136-138.
    20. Millner, Antony, 2013. "On welfare frameworks and catastrophic climate risks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 310-325.
    21. Dietz, Simon, 2011. "High impact, low probability?: an empirical analysis of risk in the economics of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38586, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    22. 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.
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:34728611 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. William D. Nordhaus, 2011. "The Economics of Tail Events with an Application to Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 240-257, Summer.
    25. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    26. Adam Daigneault & Steve Newbold, 2009. "Climate Response Uncertainty and the Unexpected Benefits of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions," NCEE Working Paper Series 200806, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Mar 2009.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:resene:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. In Chang Hwang, 2016. "Active learning and optimal climate policy," EcoMod2016 9611, EcoMod.
    3. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1893 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:89:y:2016:i:c:p:25-35. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.