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The Aggregation Dilemma In Climate Change Policy Evaluation

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  • INGMAR SCHUMACHER

    (IPAG Business School, 184 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France)

Abstract

We show that a policy maker who ignores regional data and instead relies on aggregated integrated assessment models is likely underestimating the carbon price and thus the required climate policy. Based on a simple theoretical model, we give conditions under which the Aggregation Dilemma is expected to play a role in climate change cost-benefit analysis. We then study the importance of the Aggregation Dilemma with the integrated assessment model RICE [Nordhaus and Boyer, (2000) Warning the World: Economic Models of Global Warming. MA: MIT Press]. Aggregating all regions of the RICE-99 model into one region yields a 40% lower social cost of carbon than the RICE model itself predicts. Based on extrapolating the results, a country-level integrated assessment model would give a more than eight times higher social cost of carbon compared to a fully aggregated model. We suggest that these tentative results require researchers to rethink the aggregation level used in integrated assessment models and to develop models at much lower levels of aggregation than currently available.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingmar Schumacher, 2018. "The Aggregation Dilemma In Climate Change Policy Evaluation," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(03), pages 1-20, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:ccexxx:v:09:y:2018:i:03:n:s2010007818500082
    DOI: 10.1142/S2010007818500082
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    Cited by:

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    6. Rising, James A. & Taylor, Charlotte & Ives, Matthew C. & Ward, Robert E.T., 2022. "Challenges and innovations in the economic evaluation of the risks of climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
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    8. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-484 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ingmar Schumacher, 2019. "Climate Policy Must Favour Mitigation Over Adaptation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 74(4), pages 1519-1531, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregation dilemma; aggregation; integrated assessment models; climate policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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