Working Papers

2021-06 | February 2021


The Macro Effects of Climate Policy Uncertainty


Uncertainty surrounding if and when the U.S. government will implement a federal climate policy introduces risk into the decision to invest in capital used in conjunction with fossil fuels. To quantify the macroeconomic impacts of this climate policy risk, we develop a dynamic, general equilibrium model that incorporates beliefs about future climate policy. We find that climate policy risk reduces carbon emissions by causing the capital stock to shrink and become relatively cleaner. Our results reveal, however, that a carbon tax could achieve the same reduction in emissions at less than half the cost.

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Article Citation

Fried, Stephie, Kevin Novan, and William B. Peterman. 2021. "The Macro Effects of Climate Policy Uncertainty," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2021-06. Available at