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Optimum Growth and Carbon Policies with Lags in the Climate System

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  • Lucas Bretschger

    () (CER-ETH Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich)

  • Christos Karydas

    () (CER-ETH Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich)

Abstract

We study the optimal carbon tax in an economy in which climate change, stemming from polluting non-renewable resource, affects the economy’s growth potential. Our main contribution is to introduce and explore the natural time lag of the climate system between emissions and damages to capital accumulation in an endogenous growth setting. This allows us to investigate how optimal climate policy, and its interplay with climate dynamics, affect long-run growth and the transition of the economy towards it. Without pollution decay, a higher speed of emissions diffusion steepens the growth profile of the economy. With pollution decay, this leads to lower short-run but higher long-run economic growth during transition. Poor understanding of the emissions diffusion process leads to suboptimal carbon taxes, resource extraction and growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas Bretschger & Christos Karydas, 2018. "Optimum Growth and Carbon Policies with Lags in the Climate System," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 70(4), pages 781-806, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:70:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0153-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-017-0153-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lucas Bretschger & Aimilia Pattakou, 2019. "As Bad as it Gets: How Climate Damage Functions Affect Growth and the Social Cost of Carbon," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 72(1), pages 5-26, January.
    2. Lee H. Endress & James A. Roumasset & Christopher A. Wada, 2020. "Do Natural Disasters Make Sustainable Growth Impossible?," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 319-345, July.
    3. Quaas, Martin F. & Bröcker, Johannes, 2016. "Substitutability and the social cost of carbon in a solvable growth model with irreversible climate change," Economics Working Papers 2016-09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    4. Lucas Bretschger & Sjak Smulders, 2018. "Taking Time for the Environment: On Timing and the Role of Delays in Environmental and Resource Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 70(4), pages 731-736, August.
    5. Tsigaris, Panagiotis & Wood, Joel, 2019. "The potential impacts of climate change on capital in the 21st century," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 74-86.
    6. Marie-Catherine Riekhof & Johannes Bröcker, 2017. "Does The Adverse Announcement Effect Of Climate Policy Matter? — A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(02), pages 1-34, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate policy; Non-renewable resource dynamics; Pollution diffusion lag; Optimum growth;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development

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