IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economic Cost of CO2 Emission Cuts


  • Zhao, Xiaobing


We follow Schmalensee, Stoker, and Judson (1998) to forecast CO2 emissions based on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). Our findings suggest that the EKC will not lead to significant decreases in CO2 emissions even by 2050 for countries with the highest incomes. Therefore, mandatory emissions cuts are required to limit climate change. In the same spirit of Horowitz (2009) and Ng and Zhao (2010), we then use a reduced-form approach to estimate the economic costs of mandatory emission cuts. Based on our parameter estimates, we find that a 25% mandatory deduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 will lead to a 5.63% decrease in the combined GDP of the 19 OECD countries, and a 40% deduction will result in a 12.92% loss in income (holding other relevant variables constant)! Our estimates are substantially higher than those in Paltsev, Reillya, Jacobya, and Morris (2009) and Dellink, Briner and Clapp (2010), and suggest that the economic cost to limit climate change as envisioned in the Copenhagen Accord may be substantial and more research should be done before mandatory emission cuts are implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhao, Xiaobing, 2011. "The Economic Cost of CO2 Emission Cuts," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103413, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103413
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.103413

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
    2. Vollebergh, Herman R.J. & Melenberg, Bertrand & Dijkgraaf, Elbert, 2009. "Identifying reduced-form relations with panel data: The case of pollution and income," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 27-42, July.
    3. Kijima, Masaaki & Nishide, Katsumasa & Ohyama, Atsuyuki, 2010. "Economic models for the environmental Kuznets curve: A survey," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1187-1201, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Environmental Economics and Policy;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103413. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.