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Department of Economics

Seminar on "Comparing Alternative Policies Against Environmental Catastrophes"

Speaker Professor Avinash K. Dixit
John J. F. Sherrerd '52 University
Professor of Economics, Emeritus
Princeton University
Date 30 March 2017 (Thursday)
Time 10:30am – 12:00nn
Venue WYL314, Dorothy Y. L. Wong Building


We construct a model with three features important in the context of major environmental catastrophes: (1) the distribution of possible damage has a fat tail, (2) the probability of the catastrophic event increases as greenhouse gases accumulate, (3) a technological solution may emerge making conservation efforts unnecessary. We solve the model numerically for plausible values of the parameters, and evaluate the tradeoffs between alternative policies such as prevention, mitigation, and technological fixes.


Professor Avinash K. Dixit received is PhD in Economics from MIT and spent his early years as an academic at Oxford and then Warwick universities in the UK, before going to Princeton University in 1981 where he has remained ever since. Currently, he is John J. F. Sherrerd '52 University Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University. Professor Dixit has been President of the two most important economics organizations in the world: the Econometric Society (President 2001) and the American Economic Association (President 2008). He was the Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics in Lingnan University (2009 - 2016). Professor Dixit has received the second-highest civilian honor award of India, Padma Vibhushan in 2016.