The Social Cost of Stochastic and Irreversible Climate Change

39 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2013 Last revised: 8 Feb 2021

See all articles by Yongyang Cai

Yongyang Cai

Ohio State University (OSU); Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Kenneth L. Judd

Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas S. Lontzek

University of Zurich; Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP)

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

There is great uncertainty about the impact of anthropogenic carbon on future economic wellbeing. We use DSICE, a DSGE extension of the DICE2007 model of William Nordhaus, which incorporates beliefs about the uncertain economic impact of possible climate tipping events and uses empirically plausible parameterizations of Epstein-Zin preferences to represent attitudes towards risk. We find that the uncertainty associated with anthropogenic climate change imply carbon taxes much higher than implied by deterministic models. This analysis indicates that the absence of uncertainty in DICE2007 and similar models may result in substantial understatement of the potential benefits of policies to reduce GHG emissions.

Suggested Citation

Cai, Yongyang and Judd, Kenneth L. and Lontzek, Thomas S., The Social Cost of Stochastic and Irreversible Climate Change (January 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18704, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2202643

Yongyang Cai (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Department of Agricultural, Environmental
and Development Economics
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Kenneth L. Judd

Stanford University - The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas S. Lontzek

University of Zurich ( email )

Switzerland

Center for Robust Decisionmaking on Climate & Energy Policy (RDCEP) ( email )

5735 S. Ellis Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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