High impact, low probability? An empirical analysis of risk in the economics of climate change
To what extent does economic analysis of climate change depend on low-probability, high-impact events? This question has received a great deal of attention lately, with the contention increasingly made that climate damage could be so large that societal willingness to pay to avoid extreme outcomes should overwhelm other seemingly important assumptions, notably on time preference. This paper provides an empirical examination of some key theoretical points, using a probabilistic integrated assessment model. New, fat-tailed distributions are inputted for key parameters representing climate sensitivity and economic costs. It is found that welfare estimates do strongly depend on tail risks, but for a set of plausible assumptions time preference can still matter.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE|
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham.
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Claude Henry & Marc Henry, 2002.
"Formalization and applications of the Precautionary Principle,"
- Claude HENRY & Marc HENRY, 2002. "Formalization and Applications of the Precuationary Principle," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
- Tol, Richard S. J., 2005. "The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(16), pages 2064-2074, November.
- Stephen C Peck & Thomas J. Teisberg, 1992. "CETA: A Model for Carbon Emissions Trajectory Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 55-78.
- Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A. & Bueno, Ramón, 2010. "Fat tails, exponents, extreme uncertainty: Simulating catastrophe in DICE," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1657-1665, June.
- Roughgarden, Tim & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Climate change policy: quantifying uncertainties for damages and optimal carbon taxes," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 415-429, July.
- Hope, Chris, 2008. "Discount rates, equity weights and the social cost of carbon," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1011-1019, May.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19, February.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 2009. "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Scholarly Articles 3693423, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Geweke, John, 2001. "A note on some limitations of CRRA utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 341-345, June.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
- Aumann, Robert J & Kurz, Mordecai, 1977. "Power and Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1137-1161, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)