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Economic Analysis of Global Climate Change Policy: A Primer

  • Stavins, Robert

    (Harvard U and Resources for the Future)

Global climate change--perhaps even more than other environmental problems--can be addressed successfully only with a solid understanding of its economic dimensions. This paper, prepared as an introduction to the economics section of a forthcoming book from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, provides a primer for non-economists on how economic analysis can be brought to bear on three broad questions: what will be the benefits of global climate policies; what will be their costs; and how can this information about alternative policies be assimilated in ways that are ultimately most useful for decision makers? Because of the magnitude of the anticipated benefits and costs of addressing the threat of global climate change, its great time horizons, massive uncertainties, and physical and economic irreversibilities, public policy in this area presents significant challenges to economic research. Nevertheless, a firm foundation is provided by the existing literature from nearly three decades of theoretical and empirical economic analysis.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp00-003.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp00-003
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  1. Robert W. Hahn & Richard L. Schmalensee & Roger Noll & Robert Stavins & Lester B. Lave & George C. Eads & Milton Russell & V. Kerry Smith & Maureen L. Cropper & Paul R. Portney & Kenneth J. Arrow, 1996. "Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 51790, October.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  3. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 1998. "The Induced Innovation Hypothesis and Energy-Saving Technological Change," Discussion Papers dp-98-12-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. Adam Rose & Brandt Stevens & Jae Edmonds & Marshall Wise, 1998. "International Equity and Differentiation in Global Warming Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 25-51, July.
  5. Hassett, Kevin A. & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1995. "Energy tax credits and residential conservation investment: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 201-217, June.
  6. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
  7. Stavins, Robert & Hahn, Robert, 1999. "What Has Kyoto Wrought? The Real Architecture of International Tradable Permit Markets," Discussion Papers dp-99-30, Resources For the Future.
  8. Stavins, Robert, 1997. "Policy Instruments for Climate Change: How Can National Governments Address a Global Problem?," Discussion Papers dp-97-11, Resources For the Future.
  9. Toman, Michael & Kolstad, Charles, 2000. "The Economics of Climate Policy," Discussion Papers dp-00-40, Resources For the Future.
  10. Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Palmer, Karen, 2009. "Energy Efficiency Economics and Policy," Discussion Papers dp-09-13, Resources For the Future.
  11. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
  12. Karen Palmer & Wallace E. Oates & Paul R. Portney, 1995. "Tightening Environmental Standards: The Benefit-Cost or the No-Cost Paradigm?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 119-132, Fall.
  13. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Cropper, Maureen L. & Eads, George C. & Hahn, Robert W. & Lave, Lester B. & Noll, Roger G. & Portney, Paul R. & Russell, Milson & Schmalensee, Richard & Smith, V. Kerry & Stavins, , 1997. "Is there a role for benefit-cost analysis in environmental, health, and safety regulation?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 195-221, May.
  14. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  15. William D. Nordhaus, 1982. "How Fast Should We Graze the Global Commons?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 615, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
  17. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S43-S63, November.
  18. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  19. Stavins, Robert, 2001. "Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments," Discussion Papers dp-01-58, Resources For the Future.
  20. James Hammitt, 2000. "Are The Costs of Proposed Environmental Regulations Overestimated? Evidence from the CFC Phaseout," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(3), pages 281-302, July.
  21. 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.
  22. Kolstad, Charles D., 1996. "Fundamental irreversibilities in stock externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 221-233, May.
  23. Goulder Lawrence H., 1995. "Effects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Prior Tax Distortions: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-297, November.
  24. Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1992. "Energy Tax Credits and Residential Conservation Investment," NBER Working Papers 4020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1989. "Information and the concept of option value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 23-37, January.
  26. repec:reg:rpubli:98 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Adam B. Jaffe & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 7970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Winston Harrington & Richard D. Morgenstern & Peter Nelson, 2000. "On the accuracy of regulatory cost estimates," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 297-322.
  29. Toman, Michael & Shogren, Jason, 2000. "Climate Change Policy," Discussion Papers dp-00-22, Resources For the Future.
  30. Stavins, Robert & Whitehead, Bradley, 1996. "The Next Generation of Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-97-10, Resources For the Future.
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