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Who Should Abate Carbon Emissions? A Note

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  • Kristen A. Sheeran

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Abstract

Economists commonly believe that failure to equalize the marginal cost of carbon abatement across countries implies a loss of global efficiency. Chichilnisky and Heal [(1994), Economic Letters 44, 444] first challenged this consensus a decade ago, demonstrating that, in general, efficiency does not require equalizing marginal abatement costs. This note revisits that important debate. It provides the missing intuition behind Chichilnisky and Heal’s surprising result, explains what critical assumption gives rise to their result, and clarifies the role a social welfare function plays in their model. The implications of Chichilnisky and Heal’s result are increasingly important, given international debate over the preferential role given to developing countries in the Kyoto Protocol and the role those countries will play in future climate negotiations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Kristen A. Sheeran, 2006. "Who Should Abate Carbon Emissions? A Note," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 35(2), pages 89-98, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:35:y:2006:i:2:p:89-98
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-006-9007-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-006-9007-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey, 1994. "Who should abate carbon emissions? : An international viewpoint," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 443-449, April.
    2. Donald J. Brown & Geoffrey Heal, 1979. "Equity, Efficiency and Increasing Returns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 571-585.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A. & Bueno, Ramón, 2013. "CRED: A new model of climate and development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 166-176.
    2. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rose, Adam, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 135-176, October.
    3. Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Modified Ramsey Discounting for Climate Change," Papers WP368, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Antoine D'Autume & Katheline Schubert & Cees Withagen, 2016. "Should the Carbon Price Be the Same in All Countries?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(5), pages 709-725, October.
    5. L.F.M. Groot & J. Swart, 2015. "From Nash to Lindahl in Climate Change Policy," Working Papers 15-01, Utrecht School of Economics.
    6. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Hammond, Peter J., 2016. "The Kyoto Protocol and Beyond: Pareto Improvements to Policies that Mitigate Climate Change," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 287, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Franck Lecocq & Jean-Charles Hourcade, 2012. "Unspoken ethical issues in the climate affair: Insights from a theoretical analysis of negotiation mandates," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 445-471, February.
    8. John Chipman & Guoqiang Tian, 2012. "Detrimental externalities, pollution rights, and the “Coase theorem”," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 309-327, February.
    9. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00654239 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Groot, Loek, 2010. "Carbon Lorenz curves," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 45-64, January.
    11. DeCanio, Stephen J., 2009. "The political economy of global carbon emissions reductions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 915-924, January.
    12. repec:use:tkiwps:3333 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Anthoff, David, 2009. "Optimal Global Dynamic Carbon Taxation," Papers WP278, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    14. Olivier Godard, 2011. "Climate justice, between global and international justice -Insights from justification theory," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/56, European University Institute.
    15. Elizabeth A. Stanton, 2012. "The Tragedy of Maldistribution: Climate, Sustainability, and Equity," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-18, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate changes; Kyoto Protocol; emissions trading; equity; efficiency; Q20; H40;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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