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Uncertainty, Learning, and Optimal Technological Portfolios: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Approach to Climate Change

  • Seung-Rae Kim

    ()

    (Woodrow Wilson School Princeton University)

How is the design of efficient climate policies affected by the potentials for induced technological change and for future learning about key parameter uncertainties? We address this question using a new integrated climate-economy model incorporating endogenous technological change to explore optimal technological portfolios against global warming in the presence of uncertainty and learning. We explicitly consider the interplays between induced innovation, the stringency of environmental policies, and possible environmental risks within the general equilibrium framework of probabilistic integrated assessment. We find that the value of resolving key scientific uncertainties would be non-trivial in the face of binding climate limits, but at the same time it can significantly decrease with induced innovation and knowledge spillovers that might otherwise be absent. The results also show that scientific uncertainties in climate change could justify immediate mitigation actions and accelerated investments in new energy technologies, reflecting risk-reducing considerations.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 with number 54.

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Date of creation: 11 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:54
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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1994. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1310-29, December.
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  4. William D. Nordhaus & David Popp, 1997. "What is the Value of Scientific Knowledge? An Application to Global Warming Using the PRICE Model," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-45.
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  8. Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1997. "A portfolio approach to endogenous growth: equilibrium and optimal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1627-1644, August.
  9. McDonald, Alan & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2001. "Learning rates for energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 255-261, March.
  10. Kelly, David L. & Kolstad, Charles D., 1999. "Bayesian learning, growth, and pollution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 491-518, February.
  11. Sims, Ralph E. H. & Rogner, Hans-Holger & Gregory, Ken, 2003. "Carbon emission and mitigation cost comparisons between fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy resources for electricity generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(13), pages 1315-1326, October.
  12. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  13. David F. Bradford & Seung-Rae Kim & Klaus Keller, 2004. "Optimal Technological Portfolios for Climate-Change Policy under Uncertainty: A Computable General Equilibrium Approach," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 140, Society for Computational Economics.
  14. Kolstad, Charles D., 1996. "Learning and Stock Effects in Environmental Regulation: The Case of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, July.
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