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The Dynamics of Carbon and Energy Intensity in a Model of Endogenous Technical Change

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro and Marzio Galeotti

Year: 2006
Volume: Endogenous Technological Change
Number: Special Issue #1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI1-9
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Abstract:
In recent years, a large number of papers have explored different attempts to endogenise technical change in climate models. This recent literature has emphasized that four factors � two inputs and two outputs � should play a major role when modeling technical change in climate models. The two inputs are R&D investments and Learning by Doing, the two outputs are energy-saving and fuel switching. Indeed, R&D investments and Learning by Doing are the main drivers of a climate-friendly technical change that eventually affect both energy intensity and fuel-mix. In this paper, we present and discuss an extension of the FEEM-RICE model in which these four factors are explicitly accounted for. In our new specification of endogenous technical change, an index of energy technical change depends on both Learning by Researching and Learning by Doing. This index enters the equations defining energy intensity (i.e. the amount of carbon energy required to produce one unit of output) and carbon intensity (i.e. the level of carbonization of primarily used fuels). This new specification is embodied in the RICE 99 integrated assessment climate model and then used to generate a baseline scenario and to analyze the relationship between climate policy and technical change. Sensitivity analysis is performed on different key parameters of the energy module in order to obtain crucial insights into the relative importance of the main channels through which technological changes affects the impact of human activities on climate.



A World induced Technical Change Hybrid Model

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Marzio Galeotti, Emanuele Massetti, Massimo Tavoni

Year: 2006
Volume: Hybrid Modeling
Number: Special Issue #2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI2-2
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Abstract:
The need for a better understanding of future energy scenarios, of their compatibility with the objective of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations, and of their links with climate policy, calls for the development of hybrid models. Hybrid because both the technological detail typical of Bottom Up (BU) models and the long run dynamics typical of Top Down (TD) models are crucially necessary. We present WITCH � World Induced Technical Change Hybrid model � a neoclassical optimal growth model (TD) with energy input detail (BU). The model endogenously accounts for technological progress, both through learning curves affecting prices of new vintages of capital and through R&D investments. In addition, the model captures the main economic interrelationships between world regions and is designed to analyze the optimal economic and environment policies in each world region as the outcome of a dynamic game. This paper provides a detailed description of the WITCH model, of its Baseline, and of the model calibration procedure.



Politics and Economics of Second-Best Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: The Importance of Regulatory Credibility

Valentina Bosetti and David G. Victor

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No1-1
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Abstract:
Compared with economically ideal policies, actual limits on global warming gases are likely to be "second-best" in many ways. Most studies focus on "second-best" approaches such as delaying emission controls in developing countries, constraining international emission trading, or regulating gases piecemeal by sector rather than equally across the whole economy. We show that another second-best approach--lacking of regulatory credibility--imposes up to six times the extra costs on the economy when compared with all other "secondbest" factors combined. When regulatory rules are not believable then firms and other agents become short-sighted and unable to make optimal investments in research and development as well as long-lived technologies. Although analysts have largely ignored this issue, low credibility is commonplace when governments tackle international problems because international institutions such as treaties are usually weak and fickle. Governments can help solve credibility problems with strategies such as "pre-committing" regulations into domestic law that is usually more credible than international commitments. We show that China, for example, can justify unilateral, emission controls because such pre-commitment would encourage Chinese firms to invest with a clearer eye to the future.





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