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Energy Balance Climate Models and the Spatial Structure of Optimal Mitigation Policies

Author

Listed:
  • William Brock

    (University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics)

  • Gustav Engstrom

    (The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and University of Stockholm)

  • Anastasios Xepapadeas

    (Athens University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

We develop a one-dimensional energy balance climate model with heat transportation across locations. We introduce the concept of potential world GDP at time t, and we introduce, through the temperature function, spatial characteristics into the damage function which make damages latitude dependent. We solve the social planner’s problem and characterize the competitive equilibrium. We define optimal taxes on fossil fuels and profit taxes on firms that extract fossil fuels. Our results suggest that if the implementation of international transfers across latitudes is not possible, then optimal taxes are spatially non homogeneous and tend to be lower at the poor latitudes. The degree of spatial differentiation of optimal taxes depend on heat transportation. We also locate sufficient conditions for optimal mitigation policies to have rapid ramp-up initially and then decrease over time. By employing the properties of the spatial model and approximating solutions, we show how to study the impact of thermal transport across latitudes on welfare inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • William Brock & Gustav Engstrom & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2012. "Energy Balance Climate Models and the Spatial Structure of Optimal Mitigation Policies," Working Papers 2012.05, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.05
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Sterner & U. Martin Persson, 2008. "An Even Sterner Review: Introducing Relative Prices into the Discounting Debate," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 61-76, Winter.
    2. Chichilnisky, Graciela & Heal, Geoffrey, 1994. "Who should abate carbon emissions? : An international viewpoint," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 443-449, April.
    3. Keen, Michael & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2014. "Coordinating climate and trade policies: Pareto efficiency and the role of border tax adjustments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 119-128.
    4. Krusell, Per & Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Rogerson, Richard & Sahin, Aysegül, 2011. "A three state model of worker flows in general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1107-1133, May.
    5. Geoffrey Heal, 2009. "Climate Economics: A Meta-Review and Some Suggestions for Future Research," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 4-21, Winter.
    6. Mikhail Golosov & John Hassler & Per Krusell & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2014. "Optimal Taxes on Fossil Fuel in General Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 41-88, January.
    7. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2008. "Climate Change and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 14132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moreno-Cruz, Juan & Taylor, M. Scott, 2017. "An energy-centric theory of agglomeration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 153-172.
    2. Desmet, Klaus & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2015. "On the spatial economic impact of global warming," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 16-37.
    3. William Brock & Gustav Engstrom & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2012. "Energy Balance Climate Models, Damage Reservoirs and the Time Profile of Climate Change Policy," Working Papers 2012.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy Balance Climate Models; Heat Diffusion; Temperature Distribution; Spatial Optimal Taxes;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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