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Mr. Alejandro D Guerson
This paper estimates insurance requirements against natural disasters (NDs) in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) using an insurance layering framework. The layers include a government saving fund, as well as market instruments. Each layer is calibrated to cover estimated fiscal cost of NDs according to intensity and expected damage. The results indicate that ECCU countries could target saving fund stocks for relativelly smaller and more frequent events in the range of 6-12 percent of GDP, enough to cover 95 percent of NDs’ fiscal costs. To ensure financially-sustainable saving funds with a low probability of depletion, this requires annual budget savings in the range os 0.5 to 1.9 percent of GDP per year. Additional coverage could be obtained with market instruments for large and less frequent events, albeit at a significant cost.The results are based on a Monte-Carlo experiment that simulates natural disaster shocks and their impact on output and government finances.
Stefan Mittnik, Willi Semmler, and Alexander Haider
Recent research in financial economics has shown that rare large disasters have the potential to disrupt financial sectors via the destruction of capital stocks and jumps in risk premia. These disruptions often entail negative feedback e?ects on the macroecon-omy. Research on disaster risks has also actively been pursued in the macroeconomic models of climate change. Our paper uses insights from the former work to study disaster risks in the macroeconomics of climate change and to spell out policy needs. Empirically the link between carbon dioxide emission and the frequency of climate re-lated disaster is investigated using cross-sectional and panel data. The modeling part then uses a multi-phase dynamic macro model to explore this causal nexus and the e?ects of rare large disasters resulting in capital losses and rising risk premia. Our proposed multi-phase dynamic model, incorporating climate-related disaster shocks and their aftermath as one phase, is suitable for studying mitigation and adaptation policies.
Mr. Alessandro Cantelmo, Mr. Leo Bonato, Mr. Giovanni Melina, and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
Resilience to climate change and natural disasters hinges on two fundamental elements: financial protection —insurance and self-insurance— and structural protection —investment in adaptation. Using a dynamic general equilibrium model calibrated to the St. Lucia’s economy, this paper shows that both strategies considerably reduce the output loss from natural disasters and studies the conditions under which each of the two strategies provides the best protection. While structural protection normally delivers a larger payoff because of its direct dampening effect on the cost of disasters, financial protection is superior when liquidity constraints limit the ability of the government to rebuild public capital promptly. The estimated trade-off is very sensitive to the efficiency of public investment.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Helmut Maurer, and Willi Semmler
The Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) has extensively treated the adverse effects of climate change and the appropriate mitigation policy. We extend such a model to include optimal policies for mitigation, adaptation and infrastructure investment studying the dynamics of the transition to a low fossil-fuel economy. We focus on the adverse effects of increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration on households. Formally, the model gives rise to an optimal control problem of finite horizon consisting of a dynamic system with five-dimensional state vector consisting of stocks of private capital, green capital, public capital, stock of brown energy in the ground, and emissions. Given the numerous challenges to climate change policies the control vector is also five-dimensional. Our solutions are characterized by turnpike property and the optimal policy that accomplishes the objective of keeping the CO2 levels within bound is characterized by a significant proportion of investment in public capital going to mitigation in the initial periods. When initial levels of CO2 are high, adaptation efforts also start immediately, but during the initial period, they account for a smaller proportion of government's public investment.
Ms. Catherine A Pattillo and Mr. Hugh Bredenkamp
This note outlines a scheme for mobilizing financing to help developing countries confront the challenges posed by climate change. The idea is to create a “Green Fund” with the capacity to raise resources on a scale commensurate with the Copenhagen Accord ($100 billion a year by 2020). By providing a unified resource mobilization framework, with up-front agreement on burdensharing and the capacity to meet the financing needs identified at Copenhagen, the Green Fund could facilitate progress toward a binding global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and allow developing countries to begin scaling up their climate change responses without delay. To achieve the necessary scale, the Green Fund would use an initial capital injection by developed countries in the form of reserve assets, which could include SDRs, to leverage resources from private and official investors by issuing low-cost “green bonds” in global capital markets. Contributors could agree to scale their equity stakes in proportion to their IMF quota shares, making these the “key” for burden sharing among the contributing countries. Since much of the financing would need to be provided ultimately as grants or highly concessional loans, the fund would also need to mobilize subsidy resources from contributors. Governments would likely require new sources of fiscal revenue for this purpose, including from carbon taxes and expanded carbon-trading schemes, which may take time to put in place. In the interim, the Green Fund could cover its subsidy needs from bond proceeds, interest income on its reserve asset capital base, and/or revenues from other innovative international tax schemes. Resources mobilized by the Green Fund could be channeled through existing climate funds, or via newly created special-purpose disbursement facilities. We are not proposing that the IMF itself would create, finance, or manage the Green Fund. The ideas set out in this note are being offered purely for consideration by the international community, and as a contribution to the broader public debate.