IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Climate Change Policies When Governments Cannot Commit

  • Alistair Ulph
  • David Ulph
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the optimal design of climate change policies in the context where governments want to encourage the private sector to undertake significant immediate investment in developing cleaner technologies, but the carbon taxes and other environmental policies that could in principle stimulate such investment will be imposed over a very long future. The conventional claim by environmental economists is that environmental policies alone are sufficient to induce firms to undertake optimal investment. However this argument requires governments to be able to commit to these future taxes, and it is far from clear that governments have this degree of commitment. We assume instead that governments cannot commit, and so both they and the private sector have to contemplate the possibility of there being governments in power in the future that give different (relative) weights to the environment. We show that this lack of commitment has a significant asymmetric effect. Compared to the situation where governments can commit it increases the incentive of the current government to have the investment undertaken, but reduces the incentive of the private sector to invest. Consequently governments may need to use additional policy instruments – such as R&D subsidies – to stimulate the required investmen

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/papers/dp0909.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews in its series Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics with number 200909.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 15 Aug 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:0909
    Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
    Phone: 01334 462420
    Fax: 01334 462444
    Web page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Email:


    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Ulph, Alistair & Ulph, David, 1997. "Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 636-50, May.
    2. Adam B. Jaffe & Richard G. Newell & Robert N. Stavins, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 7970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

    1. Economic Logic blog

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:0909. 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: (Bram Boskamp)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.