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Carbon Prices for the Next Hundred Years

Author

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  • Reyer Gerlagh
  • Matti Liski

Abstract

World income grows fast without verifiable climate-change impacts on the economy. The growth spell can end if climate impacts turn real but this can take decades to learn. We develop a tractable stochastic climate-economy model with a hidden-state impact process to evaluate the contributions of the expanding economy and changing impact beliefs to the social cost of carbon. Taking a dataset of estimates for the social cost as a representation of beliefs, we assess how robust climate policies are to the delays of hard information. The carbon price should rise with income to the next century, even without observed impacts. The carbon price should grow faster than the economy as long as climate warming is not enough for generating impacts that are informative about the true social cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Reyer Gerlagh & Matti Liski, 2014. "Carbon Prices for the Next Hundred Years," CESifo Working Paper Series 4671, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4671
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4671.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-166, February.
    2. Yongyang Cai & Kenneth L. Judd & Thomas S. Lontzek, 2013. "The Social Cost of Stochastic and Irreversible Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 18704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brock, William A. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1972. "Optimal economic growth and uncertainty: The discounted case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 479-513, June.
    4. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2007. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Evidence from Agricultural Output and Random Fluctuations in Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 354-385, March.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Masako Ikefuji & Jan Magnus & Hiroaki Sakamoto, 2014. "Adaptation for Mitigation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-126/III, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Ahlvik, Lassi & Hyytiäinen, Kari, 2015. "Value of adaptation in water protection — Economic impacts of uncertain climate change in the Baltic Sea," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 231-240.
    3. van den Bijgaart, Inge & Gerlagh, Reyer & Liski, Matti, 2016. "A simple formula for the social cost of carbon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 75-94.
    4. Diekert, Florian K., 2015. "Threatening Thresholds? The effect of disastrous regime shifts on the cooperative and non-cooperative use of environmental goods and services," Memorandum 12/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Diekert, Florian K., 2017. "Threatening thresholds? The effect of disastrous regime shifts on the non-cooperative use of environmental goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 30-49.
    6. Reyer Gerlagh & Thomas Michielsen, 2015. "Moving targets—cost-effective climate policy under scientific uncertainty," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 132(4), pages 519-529, October.
    7. van den Bijgaart, Inge & Gerlagh, Reyer & Liski, Matti, 2016. "A simple formula for the social cost of carbon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 75-94.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon price; learning; climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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