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To Build or not to Build? Capital Stocks and Climate Policy

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  • Elizabeth Baldwin
  • Yongyang Cai
  • Karlygash Kuralbayeva

Abstract

Applying climate policy in practice means considering capital stocks: some assets will pro¬duce pollution whenever they are used, and some will not. Therefore long-term abatement plans should influence current investment. Moreover, newer technologies exhibit learning-by-doing in the deployment of associated infrastructure. We investigate these ideas from both theoretical and numerical perspectives. An increasing carbon tax will reduce investments in assets that pollute, and so reduce emissions in the short term: our “irreversibility effect†. We also show that the optimal innovation subsidy increases with the deployment rate: our “acceleration effect†. Considering second-best settings, we show that, although carbon taxes achieve stringent policy targets more efficiently, subsidies to the “renewables†sector deliver higher welfare when policy targets are more mild. Revised February 2019

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Baldwin & Yongyang Cai & Karlygash Kuralbayeva, 2019. "To Build or not to Build? Capital Stocks and Climate Policy," OxCarre Working Papers 204, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:204
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    3. Frederick van der Ploeg & Armon Rezai, 2020. "Stranded Assets in the Transition to a Carbon-Free Economy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 12(1), pages 281-298, October.
    4. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2018. "Capital Accumulation, Green Paradox, and Stranded Assets: An Endogenous Growth Perspective," Working Papers 2018.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Fried, Stephie & Novan, Kevin & Peterman, William B., 2022. "Climate policy transition risk and the macroeconomy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    6. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh & Arild Angelsen & Andrea Baranzini & W.J. Wouter Botzen & Stefano Carattini & Stefan Drews & Tessa Dunlop & Eric Galbraith & Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Richard B. Howarth & Em, 2018. "Parallel tracks towards a global treaty on carbon pricing," Working Papers 2018/12, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    7. Nemet, Gregory F. & Lu, Jiaqi & Rai, Varun & Rao, Rohan, 2020. "Knowledge spillovers between PV installers can reduce the cost of installing solar PV," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    8. van den Bijgaart, Inge & Rodriguez, Mauricio, 2020. "Closing wells; fossil exploration and abandonment in the energy transition," Working Papers in Economics 789, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Arik Sadeh & Claudia Florina Radu & Cristina Feniser & Andrei Borşa, 2020. "Governmental Intervention and Its Impact on Growth, Economic Development, and Technology in OECD Countries," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(1), pages 1-30, December.
    10. Stephie Fried & Kevin Novan & William B. Peterman, 2021. "The Macro Effects of Climate Policy Uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-018, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Steckel, Jan Christoph & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2020. "All or nothing: Climate policy when assets can become stranded," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
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    13. Yang, Zhenbing & Shao, Shuai & Yang, Lili, 2021. "Unintended consequences of carbon regulation on the performance of SOEs in China: The role of technical efficiency," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infrastructure; Clean and Dirty Energy Inputs; Renewable Energy; Stranded Assets; Carbon Budget; Climate Change Policies; Green Paradox;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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