UNDER RECONSTRUCTION -- Our new beautifully-designed, fully responsive site will soon be unveiled...

Worst-Case Economics

Extreme Events in Climate and Finance

By Frank Ackerman
 

Worst-Case Economics

‘Worst-Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance’ explores the underlying causes and the remedies needed for the most serious climate and financial risks.

Imprint: Anthem Press
Hardback
ISBN 9781783087075
October 2017 | 208 Pages | 216 x 140mm / 8.5 x 5.5
 
PRICE:  £39.99  /  $49.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783087075

About This Book

“Old-fashioned economics has led to dangerously wrong-headed approaches to climate change and other ‘extreme event’ situations, such as financial crises. In this highly accessible but profound book, Ackerman persuasively shows the urgency of smarter, more recent thinking about how natural and economic systems work and why we need to pay much more attention to worst cases. This is a must-read book for anyone who wants to understand the world we now inhabit.” —Juliet Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

“Ackerman’s Worst-Case Economics will convince you that the conventional economic modeling of risk is inadequate when financial crashes, environmental collapse and other cataclysmic outcomes are possible and that policies based on prudence regarding the worst-case scenario are needed. An important book and a delight to read.” —Samuel Bowles, Research Professor and Director, Behavioral Science Program, Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA

Worst-case scenarios are all too real, and all too common. The financial crisis of 2008 was not the first or the last to destroy jobs, homeownership and the savings of millions of people. Hurricanes clobber communities from New York to Bangladesh. How bad will the next catastrophe be, and how soon will it happen?

Climate and financial crises are serious events, requiring vigorous responses. Yet public policy is trapped in an obsolete framework, with a simplistic focus on average or likely outcomes rather than dangerous extremes. What would it take to create better analyses of extreme events in climate and finance, and an appropriate policy framework for worst-case risks? ‘Worst-Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance’ offers accessible and surprising answers to these crucial questions.

Readership: This book will be of interest to policymakers, policy advocates, researchers and students of economics, and the informed public (readers of the ‘Guardian’ or the ‘New Yorker’).

Author Information

Frank Ackerman is an economist whose extensive research and writing focus on climate change and energy, environmental policy and cost-benefit analysis.

Table of Contents

List of Figures; 1. Introduction; 2. Steam-engine economics; 3. Beyond homo economicus; 4. Big and dirty; 5. Pictures of improbability; 6. Trillions, or only hundreds?; 7. Zipf’s law and other stories; 8. Ants and traders; 9. Too big to ignore; 10. Climate tipping points and known unknowns; 11. Predators and prey; 12. Good enough for government work; 13. Fat tails and the failure of forecasting; 14. Misunderstanding risk; 15. Choices beyond calculation; 16. Who won World War II?; 17. Conclusion; Acknowledgments; Bibliography; Index.