IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Nondogmatic Climate Policy


  • Niko Jaakkola
  • Antony Millner


Disagreements about normative aspects of social time preferences have led to estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) that differ by orders of magnitude. We investigate how disagreements about the SCC change if planners are non-dogmatic, i.e., they admit the possibility of a change in their normative views, and internalise the preferences of future selves. Although non-dogmatic planners may disagree about all the contentious aspects of social time preferences, disagreements about the SCC reduce dramatically. Admitting the possibility of a change in views once every 40 years results in a 4.6-fold reduction in the range of recommended SCCs.

Suggested Citation

  • Niko Jaakkola & Antony Millner, 2020. "Nondogmatic Climate Policy," NBER Working Papers 27413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27413
    Note: EEE

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tangren Feng & Shaowei Ke, 2018. "Social Discounting and Intergenerational Pareto," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(5), pages 1537-1567, September.
    2. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 647-685, December.
    3. Simone Galperti & Bruno Strulovici, 2017. "A Theory of Intergenerational Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1175-1218, July.
    4. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, September.
    5. Larry Karp, 2017. "Provision of a Public Good with Multiple Dynasties," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(607), pages 2641-2664.
    6. Iverson , Terrence & Karp, Larry, 2017. "Carbon taxes and climate commitment with non-constant time preference," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt3hw6s14v, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    7. Dietz, Simon & Venmans, Frank, 2019. "Cumulative carbon emissions and economic policy: In search of general principles," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 108-129.
    8. Simon Dietz & Nicholas Stern, 2008. "Why Economic Analysis Supports Strong Action on Climate Change: A Response to the Stern Review's Critics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 94-113, Winter.
    9. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
    10. Saez-Marti, Maria & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2005. "Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 254-266, June.
    11. Larry Karp, 2017. "Provision of a Public Good with Multiple Dynasties," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(607), pages 2641-2664, December.
    12. Johnsen, Thore H & Donaldson, John B, 1985. "The Structure of Intertemporal Preferences under Uncertainty and Time Consistent Plans," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1451-1458, November.
    13. Millner, Antony & Heal, Geoffrey, 2018. "Discounting by committee," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 91-104.
    14. Christopher P. Chambers & Federico Echenique, 2018. "On Multiple Discount Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(4), pages 1325-1346, July.
    15. Karp, Larry, 2005. "Global warming and hyperbolic discounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 261-282, February.
    16. Barry Anderson & Emanuele Borgonovo & Marzio Galeotti & Roberto Roson, 2014. "Uncertainty in Climate Change Modeling: Can Global Sensitivity Analysis Be of Help?," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 34(2), pages 271-293, February.
    17. Ray, Debraj, 1987. "Nonpaternalistic intergenerational altruism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 112-132, February.
    18. Simon Dietz & Nicoleta Anca Matei, 2016. "Spaces for Agreement: A Theory of Time-Stochastic Dominance and an Application to Climate Change," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 85-130.
    19. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
    20. Millner, Antony & Healey, Andrew, 2018. "Discounting by committee," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 90246, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    21. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
    22. Christian Gollier & Richard Zeckhauser, 2005. "Aggregation of Heterogeneous Time Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 878-896, August.
    23. Barrage, Lint, 2018. "Be careful what you calibrate for: Social discounting in general equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 33-49.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Rick van der Ploeg, 2020. "Discounting and Climate Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 8441, CESifo.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • 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:


    Access and download statistics


    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:27413. 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: .

    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.