Wednesday , July 28 2021
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Tag Archives: Environment

Climate risk to the financial system

I wrote a piece for Project Syndicate, here,  on climate financial risk.  (This resulted from a presentation on a panel at the NBER summer institute risks of financial institutions meeting, program here. There should be a video version on YouTube but I can't find it. The panel discussion was excellent. You will recognize ideas from my earlier climate finance testimony. I recycle and refine. ) I titled it "an answer in search of a question," but PS didn't like that so we have the...

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Maxims of Richard Zeckhauser and errors of commission

TweetJuly 14, 2021 — Richard Zeckhauser, my colleague at Harvard Kennedy School, is indeed legendary.  A book by Dan Levy, titled Maxims for Thinking Analytically: The wisdom of legendary Harvard Professor Richard Zeckhauser, has been released today. I recommend it highly. This is not a collection of tangential papers published together in someone’s honor.  Rather each chapter consists of an immortal maxim of Richard’s together with applications to real-world decision-making, whether at...

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Rossi-Hansberg on the effects of a carbon tax

I was inspired to think again about climate economics from Esteban Rossi-Habnsberg's excellent presentation at the  Hoover Economic Policy Working Group. Link here in case the above embed does not work. Paper here, (with Jose Luis Cruz Alvarez), slides here. Previous introductory post here. There is a lot in this paper and presentation, and I'm going to try to stick to one topic per post. Like most economists, my knee jerk reaction to climate change is "carbon tax." In...

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How much does climate change actually affect GDP? Part I: An illogical question.

How much does climate change* actually affect GDP? How much will currently-envisioned climate policies reduce that damage, and thereby raise GDP? As we prepare to spend trillions and trillions of dollars on climate change, this certainly seems like the important question that economists should have good answers for. I'm looking in to what anyone actually knows about these questions. The answer is surprisingly little, and it seems a ripe area for research. This post begins a series.  I...

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Proxies

A correspondent asked for comment on the new ESG trend among asset managers. For example, BlackRock, and the recent Exxon upheaval with two new green directors (here, but cautionary WSJ coverage here, pointing out how empty the whole Exxon affair really is).  I'm sad to see even Vanguard (which has a lot of my money) going along on this...trend.  Could you offer some thoughts about the trend of asset managers voting more critically this year? Are the big fund firms like...

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The price of indulgences, 2021

 Source. My correspondent provides the answer: 5bps: IVV (column #3) (iShares Core S&P 500 ETF)15bps: ESGU (column #1)  (iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF) 30bps: LCTU (column #2) (BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF) “Sea change” quote from BlackRock here I have not independently checked, though the answer hardly matters. The fees and portfolios tell the story. Obviously any claim that this ESG portfolio will outperform after fees is ......

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Nuclear power and growth

Jason Crawford's "Roots of Progress" blog on what happened to nuclear power is an important read for many reasons, among them economic growth, climate, and regulation. It's a review of Why Nuclear Power Has Been a Flop by Jack Devanney which goes on my must-read list. Perhaps the important economic question of our time is this: Is growth over? Are we running out of ideas? Or is our decades-long growth slowdown the result of an increasingly sclerotic, over-regulated, crony-capitalist...

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Conversations: covid and (separately) nonprofits

 I did a few fun video conversations last week.  This is a conversation with Ryan Bourne, Megan McArdle, and Alex Tabarrok on economics and the year of covid. Direct link if the above embed doesn't work. The conversation  is occasioned by the publication of Ryan's excellent book Economics in One Virus.  I am often asked for recommendations of general readable economics books. (i.e. no equations.) This is a gem. Then I had a nice conversation with Mike...

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Ip on Bidenomics

Greg Ip has a great column in the WSJ on Bidenomics.  It's not long, it's so well written that it's hard to condense the good parts, and you should really read it all. There is an intellectual framework to Bidenomics, and with that a scarily more durable move on economic policy. There used to be "certain rules about how the world worked: governments should avoid deficits, liberalize trade and trust in markets. Taxes and social programs shouldn’t discourage work."By...

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