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Expecting The Unexpected: Macroeconomic Volatility And Climate Policy

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  • Warwick McKibbin
  • Adele Morris
  • Peter Wilcoxen

Abstract

To estimate the emissions reductions and costs of a climate policy, analysts usually compare a policy scenario with a baseline scenario of future economic conditions without the policy. Both scenarios require assumptions about the future course of numerous factors such as population growth, technical change, and non-climate policies like taxes. The results are only reliable to the extent that the future turns out to be reasonably close to the assumptions that went into the model. In this paper we examine the effects of unanticipated macroeconomic shocks to growth in developing countries or a global financial crisis on the performance of three climate policy regimes: a globally-harmonized carbon tax; a global cap and trade system; and the McKibbin-Wilcoxen hybrid. We use the G-Cubed dynamic general equilibrium model to explore how the shocks would affect emissions, prices, incomes, and wealth under each regime. We consider how the different climate policies tend to increase or decrease the shock’s effect in the global economy and draw inferences about which policy approaches might better withstand such shocks. We find that a global cap and trade regime significantly changes the way growth shocks would otherwise be transmitted between regions while price-based systems such as a global carbon tax or a hybrid policy do not. Moreover, in the case of a financial meltdown, a price based system enables significant emissions reductions at low economic cost whereas a quantity target base system loses the opportunity for low cost emission reduction reductions because the target is fixed.

Suggested Citation

  • Warwick McKibbin & Adele Morris & Peter Wilcoxen, 2008. "Expecting The Unexpected: Macroeconomic Volatility And Climate Policy," CAMA Working Papers 2008-35, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2008-35
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-02/35_mckibbin_morris_wilcoxen_2008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
    2. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2007. "Formulas for Quantitative Emission Targets," Working Paper Series rwp07-011, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. von Below, David & Persson, Torsten, 2008. "Uncertainty, Climate Change and the Global Economy," Seminar Papers 757, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
    5. Ian Castles & David Henderson, 2003. "The IPCC Emission Scenarios: An Economic-Statistical Critique," Energy & Environment, , vol. 14(2), pages 159-185, May.
    6. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Pearce, David & Stegman, Alison, 2007. "Long term projections of carbon emissions," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 637-653.
    7. William D. Nordhaus, 2006. "After Kyoto: Alternative Mechanisms to Control Global Warming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 31-34, May.
    8. John Pezzey, 2003. "Emission Taxes and Tradeable Permits A Comparison of Views on Long-Run Efficiency," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(2), pages 329-342, October.
    9. Böhringer, Christoph, 2001. "Climate politics from Kyoto to Bonn: from little to nothing?!?," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-49, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    11. Andreas Löschel & Zhong Zhang, 2002. "The economic and environmental implications of the US repudiation of the kyoto protocol and the subsequent deals in Bonn and Marrakech," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(4), pages 711-746, December.
    12. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2009. "An Elaborated Global Climate Policy Architecture: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets for All Countries in All Decades," NBER Working Papers 14876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marschinski, Robert & Flachsland, Christian & Jakob, Michael, 2012. "Sectoral linking of carbon markets: A trade-theory analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 585-606.
    3. Andreas Tuerk & Michael Mehling & Christian Flachsland & Wolfgang Sterk, 2009. "Linking carbon markets: concepts, case studies and pathways," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 341-357, July.
    4. Valentina Bosetti & Jeffrey Frankel, 2009. "Global Climate Policy Architecture and Political Feasibility: Specific Formulas and Emission Targets to Attain 460 ppm CO2 Concentrations," Working Papers 2009.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Francesco Bosello & Ramiro Parrado, 2014. "Climate Change Impacts and Market Driven Adaptation: the Costs of Inaction Including Market Rigidities," Working Papers 2014.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Lu, Yingying & Stegman, Alison & Cai, Yiyong, 2013. "Emissions intensity targeting: From China's 12th Five Year Plan to its Copenhagen commitment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1164-1177.
    7. repec:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s13132-015-0264-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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