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Recursive Intergenerational Utility in Global Climate Risk Modeling

  • Minh Ha-Duong
  • Nicolas Treich

This paper distinguishes relative risk aversion and resistance to intertemporal substitution in climate risk modeling. Stochastic recursive preferences are introduced in a stylized numeric climate-economy model using preliminary IPCC 1998 scenarios. It shows that higher risk aversion increases the optimal carbon tax. Higher resistance to intertemporal substitution alone has the same effect as increasing the discount rate, provided that the risk is not too large. We discuss implications of these findings for the debate upon discounting and sustainability under uncertainty. Ce texte étudie la différence entre l'aversion relative au risque et la résistance à la substitution intertemporelle dans la modélisation du risque climatique. Les préférences récursives stochastiques sont utilisées dans un modèle numérique stylisé utilisant les scénarios préliminaires GIEC 1998 sur l'économie et le climat. On montre qu'une aversion au risque plus forte conduit à augmenter le niveau optimal de taxation de l'énergie. Augmenter la résistance à la substitution intertemporelle a le même effet qu'augmenter le taux d'actualisation, tant que le risque n'est pas trop grand. Nous discutons les implications de ces résultats pour le débat sur l'actualisation et la durabilité sous incertitude.

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File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/99s-40.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 99s-40.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:99s-40
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  1. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
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  4. Minh Ha-Duong & Michael Grubb & Jean Charles Hourcade, 1997. "Influence of socioeconomic inertia and uncertainty on optimal CO2-emission abatement," Post-Print halshs-00002452, HAL.
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  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
  8. Kjell Arne Brekke & Geir B. Asheim, 2002. "Sustainability when capital management has stochastic consequences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 921-940.
  9. Michel Normandin & Pascal St-Amour, 1996. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, Taste Shocks and Equity Premia," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 39, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  10. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  11. Keith C. Knapp & Lars J. Olson, 1996. "Dynamic Resource Management: Intertemporal Substitution and Risk Aversion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1004-1014.
  12. Philippe Weil, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42.
  13. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
  14. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1996. "Discounting, Morality, and Gaming," Working Papers 97004, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  16. Kolstad, Charles D., 1996. "Learning and Stock Effects in Environmental Regulation: The Case of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, July.
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