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How Capital-Based Instruments Facilitate the Transition toward a Low-Carbon Economy: A Trade-Off between Optimality and Acceptability
RFF Academic Seminar
Presenter
Stephane Hallegatte, Sustainable Development Network
Abstract
The presentation investigates two strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions: a regulation of all emissions with a carbon price and a regulation of emissions embedded in new capital only, using capital-based instruments such as investment regulation, differentiation of capital costs, or a carbon tax with temporary subsidies on brown capital. A Ramsey model is built with two types of capital: brown capital that produces a negative externality and green capital that does not. Abatement is obtained through structural change (green capital accumulation) and possibly through under-utilization of brown capital. Capital-based instruments and the carbon price lead to the same long-term balanced growth path, but they differ during the transition phase. The carbon price maximizes social welfare but may cause temporary under-utilization of brown capital, hurting the owners of brown capital and the workers who depend on it. Capital-based instruments cause larger inter-temporal welfare loss, but they maintain the full utilization of brown capital, smooth efforts over time, and cause lower immediate utility loss. Green industrial policies including such capital-based instruments may thus be used to increase the political acceptability of a carbon price. More generally, the carbon price informs on the policy effect on intertemporal welfare but is not a good indicator to estimate the impact of the policy on instantaneous output, consumption, and utility.
Date
Thursday, December 5, 2013
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
A light lunch will be provided.
Location
563 Conference Room
1616 P St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW unless otherwise noted. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Karen Furman at furman@rff.org. Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at www.rff.org/academicseminarseries.
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