Economic Estimates of the Damages Caused by Climate Change

Robert Mendelsohn

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Economic Estimates of the Damages Caused by Climate Change

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This article examines estimates of the damages of climate change in order to guide policies on greenhouse gases. It narrates three reason why climate damages are hard to measure: mitigation costs must begin immediately whereas many climate damages will occur in the distant future, we have little experience with climate change. Human beings did live through one ice age but recorded history has largely occurred in a period (the last 20,000 years) when climate has not changed, and the bulk of damages may be to non-market sectors, especially the ecosystem. The article also explains the significant advances over the original studies of damages that were brought by the recent analyses of the impact of climate change. Furthermore, this article states that although warming clearly does impose damages in some locations, there will also be substantial benefits.

Keywords: economic theory; damage study; mitigation costs; Natural scientists; United States Environmental Protection Administration

Article.  6799 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Political Economy

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