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Preparing for catastrophic climate change

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  • Tsur, Yacov
  • Withagen, Cees

Abstract

We study optimal adaptation to climate change when the harmful consequences of global warming are associated with stochastic occurrence of abrupt changes. The adaptation policy entails the accumulation of a particular sort of capital that will eliminate or reduce the catastrophic damage of an abrupt climate change when (and if) it occurs. The occurrence date is uncertain. The policy problem involves balancing the tradeoffs between the (certain) investment cost prior to occurrence and the benefit (in reduced damage) that will be realized after the (uncertain) occurrence date. For stationary economies the optimal adaptation capital converges to a steady state. For growing economies the optimal adaptation capital stock approaches the maximal economic level above which further accumulation is ineffective.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsur, Yacov & Withagen, Cees, 2011. "Preparing for catastrophic climate change," Discussion Papers 117652, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:huaedp:117652
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schelling Thomas C., 2007. "Climate Change: The Uncertainties, the Certainties and What They Imply About Action," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-5, July.
    2. Zmarak Shalizi & Franck Lecocq, 2010. "To Mitigate or to Adapt: Is that the Question? Observations on an Appropriate Response to the Climate Change Challenge to Development Strategies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 295-321, August.
    3. Karp, Larry & Tsur, Yacov, 2011. "Time perspective and climate change policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-14, July.
    4. Dockner Engelbert J. & Van Long Ngo, 1993. "International Pollution Control: Cooperative versus Noncooperative Strategies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 13-29, July.
    5. Hartl, Richard F., 1987. "A simple proof of the monotonicity of the state trajectories in autonomous control problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 211-215, February.
    6. Richard Tol, 2012. "On the Uncertainty About the Total Economic Impact of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(1), pages 97-116, September.
    7. Clarke, Harry R. & Reed, William J., 1994. "Consumption/pollution tradeoffs in an environment vulnerable to pollution-related catastrophic collapse," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 991-1010, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bommier, Antoine & Lanz, Bruno & Zuber, Stéphane, 2015. "Models-as-usual for unusual risks? On the value of catastrophic climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1-22.
    2. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0050-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zemel, Amos, 2015. "Adaptation, mitigation and risk: An analytic approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 133-147.
    4. Grames, Johanna & Prskawetz, Alexia & Grass, Dieter & Viglione, Alberto & Blöschl, Günter, 2016. "Modeling the interaction between flooding events and economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 193-209.
    5. Antoine Bommier & Bruno Lanz & Stéphane Zuber, 2014. "Fair management of social risk," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14017, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    6. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2016. "Policy tradeoffs under risk of abrupt climate change," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 46-55.
    7. repec:eee:matsoc:v:89:y:2017:i:c:p:83-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Prudence Dato, 2017. "Energy Transition Under Irreversibility: A Two-Sector Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 797-820, November.
    9. Motoyama, Takumi, 2017. "Optimal disaster-preventive expenditure in a dynamic and stochastic model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 28-47.
    10. Corneo, Giacomo, 2015. "Volkswirtschaftliche Bewertung öffentlicher Investitionen," Discussion Papers 2015/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    11. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 2012. "Dynamic and stochastic analysis of environmental and natural resources," Discussion Papers 120017, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    12. Moreaux, Michel & Withagen, Cees, 2015. "Optimal abatement of carbon emission flows," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 55-70.
    13. Berry, Kevin & Finnoff, David & Horan, Richard D. & Shogren, Jason F., 2015. "Managing the endogenous risk of disease outbreaks with non-constant background risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 166-179.
    14. Aznar-Márquez, J. & Ruiz-Tamarit, J.R., 2016. "Environmental pollution, sustained growth, and sufficient conditions for sustainable development," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 439-449.
    15. Berry, Kevin & Finnoff, David, 2016. "Choosing between adaptation and prevention with an increasing probability of a pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 177-192.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; adaptation; hazard; Environmental Economics and Policy; O13; Q54;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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