Curriculum Vitae (CV) (Short version) email@example.com, Last updated: March 2016
University of Arizona
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Google Scholar page
Unpublished working papers:
2016: The Process of Self-Discovery:Learned Helplessness, Self-Efficacy, and Endogenous Overoptimism
2015: Energy Transitions: Directed Technical Change Meets Directed Extraction (new version soon)
The Climate Risk Premium: How Uncertainty Affects the Social Cost of Carbon (new version November 2015)
Age-Induced Acceleration of Time: Implications for Intertemporal Choice
2014: Steering the Climate System: Using Inertia to Lower the Cost of Policy (with Ivan Rudik, revise and resubmit AER)
General Equilibrium Rebound from Energy Efficiency Policies (new version May 2015)
2013: Green Expectations: Current Effects of Anticipated Carbon Pricing (conditionally accepted, REStat)
Work in progress: Dynamic technology subsidies (with Ashley Langer)
Learning about climate change (with Ivan Rudik and Max Rosenthal)
Environmental policy uncertainty (with Ashley Langer)
Econ 696V: Environmental and Energy Economics: Applied Theory (graduate)
Econ 150: Energy and Environmental Challenges (undergraduate)
Interests: Environmental and energy economics, Time and uncertainty, Innovation and science
Primary Peer-Reviewed Publications
Escape from Third-Best: Rating Emissions for Intensity Standards
Lemoine, D. 2016. Environmental and Resource Economics.
Free working paper version
An increasingly common type of environmental policy instrument regulates the carbon intensity of transportation and electricity markets. In order to extend the policy's scope beyond point-of-use emissions, regulators assign each potential fuel an emission intensity rating for use in calculating compliance. I show that welfare-maximizing ratings do not generally coincide with the best estimates of actual emissions. In fact, the regulator can achieve a higher level of welfare by properly selecting the emission ratings than possible by selecting only the level of the standard. Moreover, a fuel's optimal rating can actually decrease when its estimated emission intensity increases. Numerical simulations of the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard suggest that when recent scientific information increased the estimated emissions from conventional ethanol, regulators should have lowered ethanol's rating (making it appear less emission-intensive) so that the fuel market would clear with a lower quantity.
Economics of Tipping the Climate Dominoes
Lemoine, D. and C.P. Traeger. 2016. Nature Climate Change 6(5):514-519. doi:10.1038/nclimate2902
Greenhouse gas emissions can trigger irreversible regime shifts in the climate system, known as tipping points. Multiple tipping points affect each other’s probability of occurrence, potentially causing a ‘domino effect’. We analyse climate policy in the presence of a potential domino effect. We incorporate three different tipping points occurring at unknown thresholds into an integrated climate–economy model. The optimal emission policy considers all possible thresholds and the resulting interactions between tipping points, economic activity, and policy responses into the indefinite future. We quantify the cost of delaying optimal emission controls in the presence of uncertain tipping points and also the benefit of detecting when individual tipping points have been triggered. We show that the presence of these tipping points nearly doubles today’s optimal carbon tax and reduces peak warming along the optimal path by approximately 1 °C. The presence of these tipping points increases the cost of delaying optimal policy until mid-century by nearly 150%.
A Top-Down Approach to Projecting Market Impacts of Climate Change
Lemoine, D. and S. Kapnick. 2016. Nature Climate Change 6(1):51-55. doi:10.1038/nclimate2759
To evaluate policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, economic models require estimates of how future climate change will affect well-being. So far, nearly all estimates of the economic impacts of future warming have been developed by combining estimates of impacts in individual sectors of the economy. Recent work has used variation in warming over time and space to produce top-down estimates of how past climate and weather shocks have affected economic output. Here we propose a statistical framework for converting these top-down estimates of past economic costs of regional warming into projections of the economic cost of future global warming. Combining the latest physical climate models, socioeconomic projections, and economic estimates of past impacts, we find that future warming could raise the expected rate of economic growth in richer countries, reduce the expected rate of economic growth in poorer countries, and increase the variability of growth by increasing the climate’s variability. This study suggests we should rethink the focus on global impacts and the use of deterministic frameworks for modelling impacts and policy.
Ambiguous Tipping Points
Lemoine, D. and C.P. Traeger. 2016. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (in press). doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2016.03.009
Free working paper version
We analyze the policy implications of aversion to Knightian uncertainty (ambiguity) about the possibility of tipping points. We demonstrate two channels through which uncertainty aversion affects optimal policy in the general setting. The first channel relates to the policy's effect on the probability of tipping, and the second channel to its differential impact in the pre- and post-tipping regimes. We then extend a recursive dynamic model of climate policy and tipping points to include uncertainty aversion. Numerically, aversion to Knightian uncertainty in the face of an ambiguous tipping point increases the optimal tax on carbon dioxide emissions, but only by a small amount.
Watch Your Step: Optimal Policy in a Tipping Climate
Lemoine, D. and C. Traeger. 2014. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(1):137-166. doi:10.1257/pol.6.1.137
NBER working paper version (Tipping Points and Ambiguity in the Economics of Climate Change)
We investigate the optimal policy response to the possibility of abrupt, irreversible shifts in system dynamics. The welfare cost of a tipping point emerges from the policymaker's response to altered system dynamics. Our policymaker also learns about a threshold's location by observing the system's response in each period. Simulations with a recursive, numerical climate-economy model show that tipping possibilities raise the optimal carbon tax more strongly over time. The resulting policy paths ultimately lower optimal peak warming by up to 0.5 degrees C. Different types of post-tipping shifts in dynamics generate qualitatively different optimal pre-tipping policy paths.
PAGES newsletter perspective on abrupt change (Feb 2012)
The Economics of Solar Electricity
Baker, E., M. Fowlie, D. Lemoine, and S.S. Reynolds. 2013. Annual Review of Resource Economics 5(1):387-426. doi:10.1146/annurev-resource-091912-151843
Link for complimentary one-time access
Working paper version (EI@Haas)
The benefits and costs of increasing solar electricity generation depend on the scale of the increase and on the timeframe over which it occurs. Short-run analyses focus on the cost-effectiveness of incremental increases in solar capacity, holding the rest of the power system fixed. Solar's variability adds value if its power occurs at high-demand times and displaces relatively carbon-intensive generation. Medium-run analyses consider the implications of non-incremental changes in solar capacity. The cost of each installation may fall through experience effects, but the cost of grid integration increases when solar requires ancillary services and fails to displace investment in other types of generation. Long-run analyses consider the role of solar in reaching twenty-first century carbon targets. Solar's contribution depends on the representation of grid integration costs, on the availability of other low-carbon technologies, and on the potential for technological advances. By surveying analyses for different time horizons, this paper begins to connect and integrate a fairly disjointed literature on the economics of solar energy.
Trapped Between Two Tails: Trading Off Scientific Uncertainties via Climate Targets
Lemoine, D. and H.C. McJeon. 2013. Environmental Research Letters 8:034019. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034019
Climate sensitivity distributions depend on the possibility that models share biases
Lemoine, D.M. 2010. Journal of Climate 23(16):4395-4415. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3503.1
© Copyright 2010 AMS
Paleoclimatic warming increased carbon dioxide concentrations
Lemoine, D.M. 2010. Journal of Geophysical Research 115:D22122. doi:10.1029/2010JD014725
Lemoine, D.M., R.J. Plevin, A.S. Cohn, A.D. Jones, A.R. Brandt, S.E. Vergara, and D.M. Kammen. 2010. Environmental Science & Technology 44(19):7347-7350. doi:10.1021/es100418p
Energy Displacement Model (Excel spreadsheet)
Valuing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles' battery capacity using a real options framework
Lemoine, D.M. 2010. The Energy Journal 31(2):113-143.
This article copyrighted and reprinted by permission from the International Association for Energy Economics. The article first appeared in The Energy Journal (Vol. 31, No. 2). Visit The Energy Journal online at http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/journal.aspx
Commentary in USAEE's Dialogue (November 2008)
Coverage by Green Car Congress (April 13, 2010)
Commentary on Sioshansi paper in OR Forum (Feb 2012)
An innovation and policy agenda for commercially competitive plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Lemoine, D.M., D.M. Kammen, and A.E. Farrell. 2008. Environmental Research Letters 3(1):014003. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/1/014003
Contributor to A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California. Part 1: Technical Analysis (2007)
Commentary on EVs/PHEVs with Dan Kammen in Accenture's Betting on science: Disruptive technologies in transport fuels (2009)
Other Peer-Reviewed Publications
The influence of negative emission technologies and technology policies on the optimal climate mitigation portfolio
Lemoine, D.M., S. Fuss, J. Szolgayova, M. Obersteiner, and D.M. Kammen. 2012. Climatic Change 113(2):141-162. doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0269-4
Working paper version (free)
Reduce growth rate of light-duty vehicle travel to meet 2050 global climate goals
Sager, J., J.S. Apte, D.M. Lemoine, and D.M. Kammen. 2011. Environmental Research Letters 6(2):024018. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/2/024018
Addendum to "An innovation and policy agenda for commercially competitive plug-in hybrid electric vehicles"
Lemoine, D.M. and D.M. Kammen. 2009. Environmental Research Letters 4(3):039701. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/3/039701
Cost-effectiveness of greenhouse gas emission reductions from plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Kammen, D.M., S.M. Arons, D.M. Lemoine, and H. Hummel. 2009. In Plug-in Electric Vehicles: What role for Washington?, ed. D.B. Sandalow, 170-191. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
A landscape-level GIS analysis of streamside management zones on the Cumberland Plateau
Lemoine, D., J.P. Evans, and C.K. Smith. 2006. Journal of Forestry 104(3):25-31.