Global demographic change and climate policies

Reyer Gerlagh, Richard Jaimes, Ali Motavasseli

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Between 1950 and 2017, world average life expectancy increased from
below-50 to above-70, while the fertility rate dropped from 5 to about 2.5.
We develop and calibrate an analytic climate-economy model with overlapping
generations to study the effect of such demographic change on capital
markets and optimal climate policies. Our model replicates findings from
the OLG-demography literature, such as a rise in households’ savings, and
a declining rate of return to capital. We also find that demographic change
raises the social cost of carbon, at 2020, from 28 euro/tCO2 in a model that
abstracts from demography, to 94 euro/tCO2 in our calibrated model.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2017

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper



  • climate change
  • social cost of carbon
  • environmental policy
  • demographic trends

Cite this

Gerlagh, R., Jaimes, R., & Motavasseli, A. (2017). Global demographic change and climate policies. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2017-035). CentER, Center for Economic Research.