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Carbon emission values in cost benefit analyses

  • Mandell, Svante

New infrastructure projects may affect CO2 emissions and, thus, cost benefit analyses for these projects require a value to apply for CO2. This may be based on the marginal social cost of emissions or on the shadow price resulting from present and future policies. This paper argues that both approaches are necessary, but for cost benefit analysis of infrastructure projects the latter should be the primary tool. A series of complications arise when applying this principle in practice. These are discussed in the paper. Even if the complications make the implementation of a shadow price approach difficult, we argue that the approach still is preferable to a social cost approach.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 888-892

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Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:6:p:888-892
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  1. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
  2. David Pearce, 2003. "The Social Cost of Carbon and its Policy Implications," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 362-384.
  3. Mandell, Svante, 2008. "Steering the European transport greenhouse gas emissions under uncertainty," Working Papers 2008:4, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
  4. Tol, Richard S. J., 2007. "The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-44, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
  6. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
  7. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-48, July.
  8. Mandell, Svante, 2008. "Optimal mix of emissions taxes and cap-and-trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 131-140, September.
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