IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Uncertainty and global warming : an option - pricing approach to policy


  • Baranzini, Andrea
  • Chesney, Marc
  • Morisset, Jacques


Uncertainty is inherent in the analysis of global warming issues. Not only is there considerable scientific uncertainty about the magnitude of global warming, but even if that problem were resolved, there is uncertainty about what monetary value to assign to the costs and benefits of various policies to reduce global warming. And yet the influence of uncertainty in policymaker's decisions is ignored in most studies of the issue. The authors try to explicitly incorporate the effect of uncertainty in the choice of global warming abatement policies. The approach they develop draws on the emerging literature on investment under uncertainty - in particular, that on the option-valuation approach. Their numerical applications focus on the Cline's (1992) analysis of global warming, but it may be applied to a range of global warming analyses. First, they assess whether it is optimal to implement Cline's strategy of limiting global warming today, or whether it should be postponed, and for how long. Then, they identify the optimal policy to be implemented today for different levels of uncertainty about the costs and benefits of policies to reduce global warming.

Suggested Citation

  • Baranzini, Andrea & Chesney, Marc & Morisset, Jacques, 1995. "Uncertainty and global warming : an option - pricing approach to policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1417, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1417

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Baranzini, Andrea & Chesney, Marc & Morisset, Jacques, 2003. "The impact of possible climate catastrophes on global warming policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 691-701, June.


    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:wbk:wbrwps:1417. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.