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Climate Change and Psychological Adaptation: A Behavioral Environmental Economics Approach

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Listed:
  • Aronsson, Thomas

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics)

  • Schöb, Ronnie

    () (School of Business and Economics)

Abstract

Economic models of climate policy (or policies to combat other environmental problems) typically neglect psychological adaptation to changing life circumstances. People may adapt or become more sensitive, to different degrees, to a deteriorated environment. The present paper addresses these issues in a simple model of tax policy to combat climate change and elaborates on the consequences for optimal climate policies, and argues from a normative point of view that psychological adaptation needs to be taken into account by a pure welfarist government, which aims at internalizing an intertemporal externality.

Suggested Citation

  • Aronsson, Thomas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2014. "Climate Change and Psychological Adaptation: A Behavioral Environmental Economics Approach," Umeå Economic Studies 885, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0885
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
    2. Aronsson, Thomas & Schöb, Ronnie, 2012. "Adaptation, Anticipation-Bias and Optimal Income Taxation," Umeå Economic Studies 842, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
    4. David Albouy & Walter Graf & Ryan Kellogg & Hendrik Wolff, 2016. "Climate Amenities, Climate Change, and American Quality of Life," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 205-246.
    5. Schelling, Thomas C, 1992. "Some Economics of Global Warming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 1-14, March.
    6. Anthoff, David & Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Schelling's Conjecture on Climate and Development: A Test," Papers WP390, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Perez-Truglia, Ricardo, 2012. "On the causes and consequences of hedonic adaptation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1182-1192.
    8. Kai A. Konrad & Marcel Thum, 2012. "The Role of Economic Policy in Climate Change Adaptation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3959, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    10. Daniel Kahneman & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Anomalies: Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 221-234, Winter.
    11. repec:lmu:muenar:22059 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Luis Rayo & Gary S. Becker, 2007. "Evolutionary Efficiency and Happiness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 302-337.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral environmental economics; climate change; intertemporal externalities; adaptation; sensitization; taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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