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Consistent climate policies

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  • Reyer Gerlagh
  • Matti Liski

Abstract

What are the optimal climate policies when time preferences deviate from the standard exponential discounting and decision makers cannot commit to future policies? We show that, with time-declining discounting, the delay and persistence of climate impacts provide a commitment device to policy makers. We quantify the commitment value in a climate-economy model by solving time-consistent Markov equilibrium capital and emission taxes explicitly. The returns on capital and climate investments are no longer equal, leading to a large increase in the emission tax, compared to a benchmark with equalized returns. The commitment value increases the tax by a factor of 20 in our quantitative assessment.

Suggested Citation

  • Reyer Gerlagh & Matti Liski, 2018. "Consistent climate policies," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 1-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:1:p:1-44.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvx010
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    Cited by:

    1. Hiroaki Sakamoto & Masako Ikefuji & Jan R. Magnus, 2020. "Adaptation for Mitigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(3), pages 457-484, March.
    2. Drupp, Moritz A. & Hänsel, Martin C., 2018. "Relative prices and climate policy: How the scarcity of non-market goods drives policy evaluation," Economics Working Papers 2018-01, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    3. Hiroaki SAKAMOTO & Larry KARP, 2019. "Sober optimism and the formation of international environmental agreements," Discussion papers e-19-002, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    4. Arvaniti, Maria & Habla, Wolfgang, 2020. "The political economy of negotiating international carbon markets," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-020, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    5. Hillebrand, Elmar & Hillebrand, Marten, 2019. "Optimal climate policies in a dynamic multi-country equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 200-239.
    6. Dietz, Simon & Venmans, Frank, 2019. "Cumulative carbon emissions and economic policy: In search of general principles," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 108-129.
    7. Cees A. Withagen, 2018. "The Social Cost of Carbon and the Ramsey Rule," CESifo Working Paper Series 7359, CESifo.

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