IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18144.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Precautionary Tale of Uncertain Tail Fattening

Author

Listed:
  • Martin L. Weitzman

Abstract

Suppose that there is a probability density function for how bad things might get, but that the overall rate at which this probability density function slims down to approach zero in the tail is uncertain. The paper shows how a basic precautionary principle of tail fattening could then apply. The worse is the contemplated damage, the more should a decision maker consider the bad tail to be among the relatively fatter-tailed possibilities. A rough numerical example is applied to the uncertain tail distribution of climate sensitivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin L. Weitzman, 2012. "A Precautionary Tale of Uncertain Tail Fattening," NBER Working Papers 18144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18144
    Note: EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18144.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Millner, Antony & Dietz, Simon & Heal, Geoffrey, 2010. "Ambiguity and climate policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37595, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Johanna Etner & Meglena Jeleva & Jean‐Marc Tallon, 2012. "Decision Theory Under Ambiguity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 234-270, April.
    3. 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.
    4. 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).
    5. Martin L. Weitzman, 2011. "Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. In Chang Hwang & Richard S.J. Tol & Marjan W. Hofkes, 2013. "Active Learning about Climate Change," Working Paper Series 6513, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    2. Hans-Jürgen Nantke & Alfred Endres & Frederik Schaff & Till Requate & Susanne Dröge, 2013. "Scheitern der Reform des Emissionshandels: Verliert Europa die Vorreiterrolle in der Klimapolitik?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(12), pages 03-15, June.
    3. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Michal Pakoš, 2015. "Learning about Rare Disasters: Implications For Consumption and Asset Prices," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1053-1104.
    4. Hwang, In Chang, 2014. "Fat-tailed uncertainty and the learning-effect," MPRA Paper 53671, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Michal Pakos, 2014. "Learning about Rare Disasters: Implications For Consumption and Asset Prices," Working Papers 1002, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    6. Ian Bateman & Hassan Benchekroun & Christian Vossler, 2015. "EAERE Award for the Best Paper Published in Environmental and Resource Economics During 2013," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(3), pages 325-326, March.
    7. Hwang, In Chang & Tol, Richard S.J. & Hofkes, Marjan W., 2016. "Fat-tailed risk about climate change and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 25-35.
    8. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Michal Pakos, 2014. "Learning about Disaster Risk: Joint Implications for Consumption and Asset Prices," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp507, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18144. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.