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Risk Aversion, Intergenerational Equity and Climate Change

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  • Minh Ha-Duong

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  • Nicolas Treich

Abstract

The paper investigates a climate-economy model with an iso-elastic welfare function in which one parameter γ measures relative risk-aversion and a distinct parameter ρ measures resistance to intertemporal substitution.We show both theoretically and numerically that climate policy responds differently to variations in the two parameters. In particular, we show that higher γ but lower ρ leads to increase emissions control. We also argue that climate-economy models based on intertemporal expected utility maximization, i.e. models where γ=ρ, may misinterpret the sensitivity of the climate policy to risk-aversion. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Intergenerational Equity and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 195-207, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:28:y:2004:i:2:p:195-207
    DOI: 10.1023/B:EARE.0000029915.04325.25
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    1. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9978-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Ambrosi, Philippe & Dumas, Patrice, 2009. "Beyond the Stern Review: Lessons from a risky venture at the limits of the cost-benefit analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2479-2484, August.
    3. Richard S J Tol, 2018. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 4-25.
    4. Urvashi Narain & Michael Hanemann & Anthony Fisher, 2007. "The irreversibility effect in environmental decisionmaking," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 391-405, November.
    5. Helgeson, Jennifer & Dietz, Simon & Atkinson, Giles D. & Hepburn, Cameron & Sælen, Håkon, 2009. "Siblings, not triplets: social preferences for risk, inequality and time in discounting climate change," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-28.
    6. Cameron Hepburn & Hakon Sælen & Giles Atkinson, 2008. "Risk, inequality and time in the welfare economics of climate change: is the workhorse model underspecified?," Economics Series Working Papers 400, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Adler, Matthew & Treich, Nicolas, 2014. "Consumption, Risk and Prioritarianism," TSE Working Papers 14-500, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    8. Svenja Hector, 2013. "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers 2013.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Loïc Berger & Johannes Emmerling, 2017. "Welfare as Simple(x) Equity Equivalents," Working Papers 2017.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Jean-Charles Hourcade & Philippe Ambrosi & Patrice Dumas, 2009. "Beyond the Stern Review: Lessons from a risky venture at the limits of the cost–benefit analysis," Post-Print hal-00716769, HAL.
    11. Frank Ackerman & Elizabeth Stanton & Ramón Bueno, 2013. "Epstein–Zin Utility in DICE: Is Risk Aversion Irrelevant to Climate Policy?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84, September.
    12. Jensen, Svenn & Traeger, Christian P., 2014. "Optimal climate change mitigation under long-term growth uncertainty: Stochastic integrated assessment and analytic findings," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 104-125.
    13. repec:eee:matsoc:v:87:y:2017:i:c:p:94-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Frank Ackerman & Ian J. Finlayson, "undated". "06-07 “The Economics of Inaction on Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis”," GDAE Working Papers 06-07, GDAE, Tufts University.
    15. Mariia Belaia & Michael Funke & Nicole Glanemann, 2017. "Global Warming and a Potential Tipping Point in the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation: The Role of Risk Aversion," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(1), pages 93-125, May.
    16. Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron & Giorgio Fabbri & Katheline Schubert, 2017. "The Value of Biodiversity as an Insurance Device," Working Papers halshs-01493965, HAL.
    17. Noah Kaufman, 2012. "The bias of integrated assessment models that ignore climate catastrophes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 575-595, February.
    18. Svenja Hector(), "undated". "Accounting for Different Uncertainties: Implications for Climate Investments?," Working Papers ETH-RC-13-007, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    19. Richard S.J. Tol, 2011. "The Social Cost of Carbon," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 419-443, October.
    20. Crost, Benjamin & Traeger, Christian P., 2011. "Risk and aversion in the integrated assessment of climate change," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt1562s275, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    21. Larry S. Karp, 2009. "Sacrifice, Discounting and Climate Policy: Five Questions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2761, CESifo Group Munich.
    22. Thomas S. Lontzek & Daiju Narita & Ole Wilms, 2016. "Stochastic Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem Tipping Risk," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(3), pages 573-598, November.

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    Keywords

    climate change; discounting; equity; risk-aversion;

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