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Risk and aversion in the integrated assessment of climate change

  • Crost, Benjamin
  • Traeger, Christian P.

We analyze the impact of damage uncertainty on optimal mitigation policies in the integrated assessment of climate change. Usually, these models analyzeuncertainty by averaging deterministic paths. In contrast, we build a consistentmodel deriving optimal policy rules under persistent uncertainty. For this purpose,we construct a close relative of the DICE model in a recursive dynamic programming framework. Our recursive approach allows us to disentangle effects of risk, risk aversion, and aversion to intertemporal substitution. We analyze different ways how damage uncertainty can affect the DICE equations. We compare the optimal policies to those resulting from the wide-spread ex-ante uncertainty approach averaging deterministic paths.

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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt1562s275.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt1562s275
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  1. Leach, Andrew J., 2007. "The climate change learning curve," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1728-1752, May.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Minh Ha-Duong & Nicolas Treich, 2004. "Risk aversion, intergenerational equity and climate change," Post-Print halshs-00000680, HAL.
  4. Keller, Klaus & Bolker, Benjamin M. & Bradford, D.F.David F., 2004. "Uncertain climate thresholds and optimal economic growth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 723-741, July.
  5. Kelly, David L. & Kolstad, Charles D., 1999. "Bayesian learning, growth, and pollution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 491-518, February.
  6. Tol, Richard S. J. & Anthoff, David, 2010. "Climate Policy under Fat-Tailed Risk: An Application of FUND," Papers WP348, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Christian P. Traeger, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Intertemporal Modeling of Uncertainty," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 261-285, 09.
  8. Baker, Erin & Shittu, Ekundayo, 2008. "Uncertainty and endogenous technical change in climate policy models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2817-2828, November.
  9. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A. & Bueno, Ramón, 2010. "Fat tails, exponents, extreme uncertainty: Simulating catastrophe in DICE," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1657-1665, June.
  11. Karp, Larry & Zhang, Jiangfeng, 2006. "Regulation with anticipated learning about environmental damages," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 259-279, May.
  12. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  13. Traeger, Christian P., 2010. "Intertemporal risk aversion – or – wouldn’t it be nice to tell whether Robinson Crusoe is risk averse?," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1102, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
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