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The Contribution of Economics to the Analysis of Climate Change and Uncertainty: A Survey of Approaches and Findings

  • Sonja Peterson

There is a general agreement that (a) climate change is one of the most serious environmental problems, that (b) the analysis of climate change is confronted with a large degree of uncertainty and (c) that these uncertainties need to be taken into account to arrive at meaningful policy recommendations. The main contribution of economics to this interdisciplinary task is to provide formal frameworks and techniques for analyzing climate policy in the context of uncertainty. The aim of this paper is to give a comprehensive survey of existing approaches and findings and thus to give a broad picture of what economics has contributed and can contribute to the debate.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1212.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1212
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  1. Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2001. "Taxes and quotas for a stock pollutant with multiplicative uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 91-114, October.
  2. Greening, Lorna A. & Bernow, Steve, 2004. "Design of coordinated energy and environmental policies: use of multi-criteria decision-making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 721-735, April.
  3. Ha-Duong, Minh, 1998. "Quasi-option value and climate policy choices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5-6), pages 599-620, December.
  4. Pindyck, Robert S., 1998. "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy," Working papers WP 4047-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Pizer, William A., 1999. "The optimal choice of climate change policy in the presence of uncertainty," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 255-287, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Andreas Lange, 2003. "Climate Change and the Irreversibility Effect – Combining Expected Utility and MaxiMin," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(4), pages 417-434, August.
  8. Baranzini, Andrea & Chesney, Marc & Morisset, Jacques, 2003. "The impact of possible climate catastrophes on global warming policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 691-701, June.
  9. Plambeck, Erica L & Hope, Chris, 1996. "PAGE95 : An updated valuation of the impacts of global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 783-793, September.
  10. 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.
  11. Henry, Claude, 1974. "Investment Decisions Under Uncertainty: The "Irreversibility Effect."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1006-12, December.
  12. Hope, Chris & Anderson, John & Wenman, Paul, 1993. "Policy analysis of the greenhouse effect : An application of the PAGE model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 327-338, March.
  13. Peck, Stephen C. & Teisberg, Thomas J., 1993. "Global warming uncertainties and the value of information: an analysis using CETA," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 71-97, March.
  14. Geoffrey Heal & Bengt Kriström, 2002. "Uncertainty and Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 3-39, June.
  15. Kenneth J. Arrow & Anthony C. Fisher, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-319.
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