Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning

15 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012

See all articles by Alistair Ulph

Alistair Ulph

University of Manchester - Faculty of Humanities

David Ulph

University College London - Department of Economics; Government of the United Kingdom - Inland Revenue

Date Written: May 1997

Abstract

A number of economists have argued that the literature on the irreversibility effect implies that current abatement of greenhouse gas emissions should be greater when there is the possibility of obtaining better information in the future about the potential damages from global warming than when there is no possibility of obtaining better information. In this paper we show that even the simplest model of global warming does not satisfy either of Epstein's (1980) sufficient conditions, so it is not possible to use Epstein's analysis to tell whether the irreversibility effect applies to models of global warming. We derive an alternative sufficient condition for the irreversibility effect to hold.

Suggested Citation

Ulph, Alistair M. and Ulph, David, Global Warming, Irreversibility and Learning (May 1997). The Economic Journal, Vol. 107, Issue 442, pp. 636-650, 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1995931 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.1997.tb00031.x

Alistair M. Ulph (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - Faculty of Humanities ( email )

Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

David Ulph

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
ESRC Center for Economics Learning and Social Evolution
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7679 5862 (Phone)
+44 20 7916 2774 (Fax)

Government of the United Kingdom - Inland Revenue ( email )

Room F11, West Wing
Somerset House
London WC2R 1LB
United Kingdom
+44 20 7438 7487 (Phone)

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