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Climate Policy without Commitment

Author

Listed:
  • Rolf Golombek
  • Mads Greaker
  • Michael Hoel

Abstract

Climate mitigation policy should be imposed over a long period, and spur development of new technologies in order to make stabilization of green house gas concentrations economically feasible. The government may announce current and future policy packages that stimulate current R&D in climate-friendly technologies. However, once climate-friendly technologies have been developed, the government may have no incentive to implement the pre-announced future policies, that is, there may be a time inconsistency problem. We show that if the government can optimally subsidize R&D today, there is no time inconsistency problem. Thus, lack of commitment is not an argument for higher current R&D subsidies. If the offered R&D subsidy is lower than the optimal subsidy, the current (sub-game perfect) climate tax should exceed the first-best climate tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Rolf Golombek & Mads Greaker & Michael Hoel, 2010. "Climate Policy without Commitment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2909, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2909
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2909.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Mads Greaker & Lise-Lotte Pade, 2008. "Optimal CO2 abatement and technological change. Should emission taxes start high in order to spur R&D?," Discussion Papers 548, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
    6. Till Requate, 2005. "Timing and Commitment of Environmental Policy, Adoption of New Technology, and Repercussions on R&D," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 175-199, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl, 2009. "Optimal Timing of Climate Change Policy: Interaction Between Carbon Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 369-390, July.
    9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    10. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lambertini, Luca & Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna & Tampieri, Alessandro, 2017. "Cournot competition and “green” innovation: An inverted-U relationship," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 116-123.
    2. Alejandro Bonvecchi & Carlos Scartascini, 2011. "The Presidency and the Executive Branch in Latin America: What We Know and What We Need to Know," Research Department Publications 4756, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Luca Lambertini & Giuseppe Pignataro & Alessandro Tampieri, 2015. "The effect of Environmental Quality Misperception on Investments and Regulation," CREA Discussion Paper Series 15-01, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    4. Alistair Ulph & David Ulph, 2013. "Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(2), pages 161-176, October.
    5. Michielsen, Thomas O., 2014. "Brown backstops versus the green paradox," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 87-110.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    time consistency; carbon tax; climate policy; R&D; endogenous technological change;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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