Selective Reporting and the Social Cost of Carbon
43 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2015 Last revised: 10 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2015
We examine potential selective reporting (publication bias) in the literature on the social cost of carbon (SCC) by conducting a meta-analysis of 809 estimates of the SCC reported in 101 studies. Our results indicate that estimates for which the 95% confidence interval includes zero are less likely to be reported than estimates excluding negative values of the SCC, which might create an upward bias in the literature. The evidence for selective reporting is stronger for studies published in peer-reviewed journals than for unpublished papers. We show that the findings are not driven by the asymmetry of the confidence intervals surrounding the SCC and are robust to controlling for various characteristics of study design and to alternative definitions of confidence intervals. Our estimates of the mean reported SCC corrected for the selective reporting bias range between USD 0 and 134 per ton of carbon at 2010 prices for emission year 2015.
Keywords: Social cost of carbon, climate policy, integrated assessment models, meta-analysis, selective reporting, publication bias
JEL Classification: C83, Q54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation