Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 27/2015: The Public Economics of Climate Change.

Agnar Sandmo ()
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Agnar Sandmo: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: This paper considers the challenges to the field of public economics that arise from the issue of global warming. It outlines the argument for viewing the global climate as a public good and describes the problems that emerge when one tries to apply the insights of public goods theory to global public goods such as global warming. Special topics considered include the free rider problem in an international context and the extent to which private preferences should be taken into account in policy formation. The paper also includes a discussion of cost sharing in global climate policy and the design of policy when instruments for redistribution are imperfect. Green taxes are powerful tools for regulating emissions, and these are discussed both in a national and international context with emphasis on the proposal for a global CO2 tax. Finally there is a discussion of the several dimensions of distributional justice that arise in the context of climate policy.

Keywords: Global; warming; Public; economics

JEL-codes: D60; H23; Q54

40 pages, November 26, 2015

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