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Growth and Mitigation Policies with Uncertain Climate Damage

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  • Lucas Bretschger
  • Alexandra Vinogradova

Abstract

Climate physics predicts that the intensity of natural disasters will increase in the future due to climate change. We present a stochastic model of a growing economy where natural disasters are multiple and random, with damages driven by the economy’s polluting activity. We provide a closed-form solution and show that the optimal path is characterized by a constant growth rate of consumption and the capital stock until a shock arrives, triggering a downward jump in both variables. Optimum mitigation policy consists of spending a constant fraction of output on emissions abatement. This fraction is an increasing function of the arrival rate, polluting intensity of output, and the damage intensity of emissions. We subsequently extend the baseline model by adding climate-induced fluctuations around the growth trend and stock-pollution effects, demonstrating robustness of our results. In a quantitative assessment of our model we show that the optimal abatement expenditure at the global level may represent 0.9% of output, which is equivalent to a tax of $70 per ton carbon.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas Bretschger & Alexandra Vinogradova, 2014. "Growth and Mitigation Policies with Uncertain Climate Damage," CESifo Working Paper Series 5085, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5085
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    Cited by:

    1. Müller-Fürstenberger, Georg & Schumacher, Ingmar, 2015. "Insurance and climate-driven extreme events," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 59-73.
    2. Jean-Marc Bourgeon & Margot Hovsepian, 2017. "Green Technology Adoption and the Business Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 6485, CESifo.
    3. Marc Chesney & Pierre Lasserre & Bruno Troja, 2017. "Mitigating global warming: a real options approach," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 255(1), pages 465-506, August.
    4. Lucas Bretschger & Alexandra Vinogradova, 2015. "Equitable and effective climate policy: Integrating less developed countries into a global climate agreement," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 437-467, October.
    5. Can Askan Mavi, 2017. "Creative Destruction vs Destructive Destruction ? : A Schumpeterian Approach for Adaptation and Mitigation," Working Papers halshs-01455297, HAL.
    6. Lucas Bretschger, 2018. "Greening Economy, Graying Society," CER-ETH Press, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich, edition 2, number 18-001.
    7. J. Farmer & Cameron Hepburn & Penny Mealy & Alexander Teytelboym, 2015. "A Third Wave in the Economics of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(2), pages 329-357, October.
    8. Franziska Piontek & Matthias Kalkuhl & Elmar Kriegler & Anselm Schultes & Marian Leimbach & Ottmar Edenhofer & Nico Bauer, 2019. "Economic Growth Effects of Alternative Climate Change Impact Channels in Economic Modeling," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 73(4), pages 1357-1385, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate policy; uncertainty; natural disasters; endogenous growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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