The winter 2015 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives has what the editor hope is a final word on “The Economic Effects of Climate Change” by Richard S. J. Tol and the several errors therein.
In early 2014, the editors received a complaint pointing out errors in the paper: specifically, several estimates had not been accurately transferred from the original studies. In the Spring 2014 issue, we published a “Correction and Update: The Economic Effects of Climate Change” (vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 221–26) by Richard Tol. However, this version also contained errors that were soon pointed out by various researchers. The editors discussed the situation with Richard Tol and with outside reviewers at some length.Now followers of that little back and forth might want to do a bit of reading here at Rabett Run
A Statistical Analysis of Tol's Demon
and then there's physics
over there at Retraction Watch
Gremlins” caused errors in climate change paper showing gains from global warming
and whoa, certainly at Andrew Gelman's
Richard Tol's Gremlins Drive Iffy Policy Recommendations
A Whole Fleet of Gremlins
As Frank Ackerman pointed out in a scholarly matter, there is not much there in that figure with multiple numbers of the few points coming from the same models over a couple of decades.
Eli would have enjoyed listening in to the exchange of views at JEP, but the JEP editor has settled on using the figure appearing in the AR5
The original figure in the 2009 JEP article estimated a best-fit line passing through the points on this kind of figure, along with confidence intervals for that Figure 1 estimate. Given the differences across the studies as mentioned in the IPCC report, several outside reviewers involved in our editorial process expressed a concern that such estimates were not meaningful. As shown, the figure in the IPCC report does not seek to estimate a best-fit line or confidence intervals, but only offers a summary of the results from existing studies. Tol offers further discussion of the curve-fitting issues with this kind of data in “Bootstraps for Meta-Analysis with an Applicationto the Impact of Climate Change,” forthcoming in Computational Economics (doi: 10.1007/s10614-014-9448-5).