What is the value of scientific knowledge? An application to global warming using the PRICE model

William D. Nordhaus, David Popp

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

115 Scopus citations

Abstract

Governments must cope with the enormous uncertainties about both future climate change as well as the costs and benefits of slowing climate change. This study analyses the value of improved information about a variety of geophysical and economic processes. The value of information is estimated using the "PRICE model" which is a probabilistic extension of earlier models of the economics of global warming. The study uses five different approaches to estimating the value of information about all uncertain parameters and about individual parameters. It is estimated that the value of early information is between $1 and $2 billion for each year that resolution of uncertainty is moved toward the present. We estimate that the most important uncertain variables are the damages of climate change and the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Resolving the uncertainties about these two parameters would contribute 75 percent of the value of improved knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages1-28
Number of pages28
Volume18
No1
Specialist publicationEnergy Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)

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