Reyer Gerlagh (Tilburg University): Family planning and climate change

The historical increase in emissions is for one-fourth attributable to the growth of emissions per person, whereas three-fourths are due to population growth. This striking evidence is not represented in the majority of climate-economic studies, which mostly neglect the environmental consequences of individuals’ reproductive decisions. In this paper, we study the interactions between climate change and population dynamics. We develop an analytical model of endogenous fertility and embed it in a calibrated climate-economy model. Our results present family planning as an integral part of climate policies and quantify the costs of neglecting the interaction.

Organised by Environmental Economics and Natural Resources

Tue 5 February 2019 12:30 to 13:30

Venue Leeuwenborch, gebouwnummer 201
Room C82

The simple idea

Let's calculate the externality caused by each new birth in terms of added climate change damages. There are no technical challenges. The (supposed) quality of this paper is that it describes a serious global problem, using a proper theory model, and then using a proper calibration, so that the numbers coming out are meaningful.

You can find the paper here.

Specific question to audience

  1. This is a global analysis. Suggestions for specific questions for a regional analysis? Including migration?
  2. Our models shows limited effects of education on fertility. E.g. an education subsidy does NOT reduce fertility. Is there empirical evidence and theory building about direct relationships between the two?