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Environmental prices, uncertainty and learning

Dietz, Simon and Fankhauser, Samuel (2009) Environmental prices, uncertainty and learning. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, 10. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Abstract

There is an increasing demand for putting a shadow price on the environment to guide public policy and incentivise private behaviour. In practice, setting that price can be extremely difficult as uncertainties abound. There is often uncertainty not just about individual parameters but about the structure of the problem and how to model it. A further complication is the second-best nature of real environmental policy making. In this paper, we propose some practical steps for setting prices in the face of these difficulties, drawing on the example of climate change. We consider how to determine the overall target for environmental protection, how to set shadow prices to deliver that target, and how we can learn from the performance of policies to revise targets and prices. Perhaps most significantly, we suggest that estimates of the marginal cost of environmental protection, rather than the marginal benefit, will often provide the more consistent and robust prices for achieving targets.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q51 - Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q52 - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q58 - Government Policy
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 10
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 12:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37613/

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