School of Economics

2011 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 11/07
April 2011

A General Equilibrium Model of Environmental Option Values

Iain Fraser and Katsuyuki Shibayama
University of Kent


In this paper we consider the option value of the environment employing a stochastic general equilibrium growth model. In our model, as in existing studies, because of irreversibility, the environment has significant real option value. However, unlike the existing literature, the value of the environment is endogenously determined in our general equilibrium setting. In our model, the elasticity of substitution between the environment and consumption not only has quantitative effects but also qualitative effects on the option value of the environment and the optimal allocation of land. We also show that the volatility of the exogenous shock process has quantitatively significant effects on the size of the option value which has important implications for the practical estimation of environmental option values.

JEL Classification: Q38; G13; O13

Keywords: Real option; environment; general equilibrium; elasticity of substitution; generalized isoelastic preference

To download the file in PDF format click here, 'Matlab code'.


A previous version of this paper from April 2011 is available to view by clicking here, 'Matlab code'.

School of Economics, Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP

Undergraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827497, Postgraduate enquiries: +44 (0) 1227 827440 or email us

Last Updated: 12/03/2015