EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Presidential Address Imperfections in the Economics of Public Policy, Imperfections in Markets, and Climate Change

Nicholas Stern

Journal of the European Economic Association, 2010, vol. 8, issue 2-3, 253-288

Abstract: The economics of public policy has suffered from "collective amnesia": we have forgotten or ignored much of the tradition of public policy in imperfect economies whose foundations were laid by James Meade and Paul Samuelson. This has been associated with a period of around two decades from the early 1980s to the early 2000s where the economics of public policy has "bent to political winds" and has fed arguments for government to get out of the way and leave everything to the markets, to self-interest and to self-regulation. This has manifested itself via the choice of models (those which imply, often directly from assumptions, passive government), patterns of teaching (the marginalisation of public economies in imperfect economics) and "compartmentalisation." Examples in climate change where this amnesia has misled include approaches to discounting and the failure to make non-marginal change central to analysis. On the other hand, creative application of modern public economics gives interesting results such as the possibility of making both current and future generations better off and of informed discussion complementing economic instruments. There are strong formal analogies between policy on climate change and on behavioural economics. Indeed, there seems to be great potential in the combination of these two fields. (JEL: A10, A12, D61, D62, D63) (c) 2010 by the European Economic Association.

JEL-codes: A10 A12 D61 D62 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1542-4774/issues link to full text (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:2-3:p:253-288

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of the European Economic Association is currently edited by Xavier Vives, George-Marios Angeletos, Orazio P. Attanasio, Fabio Canova and Roberto Perotti

More articles in Journal of the European Economic Association from MIT Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Ann Olson ().

 
Page updated 2020-08-21
Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:8:y:2010:i:2-3:p:253-288