Individuals have heterogeneous beliefs regarding the future speed and shape of the low-carbon transition. In this paper, we study to what extent opinion diversity matters for aggregate capital investment decisions. We develop a model where firms formulate heterogeneous expectations around a dominant narrative, or ‘market norm’, with their dispersion increasing over a finite planning horizon. Our analytical and numerical results suggest that belief heterogeneity can significantly affect the share of low-carbon investments, with the strength of its effects non-linearly correlated to market norms. We show that investment behaviour tends to be more sensitive to shocks to short-term, rather than long-term, belief heterogeneity, highlighting the importance of setting credible short-term targets. Finally, we find beliefs to interact strongly and in non-trivial ways with measures of short-termism, with increasing agents' farsightedness not necessarily leading to less carbon-intensive investments under high heterogeneity.

Stranding ahoy? Heterogeneous transition beliefs and capital investment choices

Campiglio, Emanuele;Daumas, Louis
;
2023

Abstract

Individuals have heterogeneous beliefs regarding the future speed and shape of the low-carbon transition. In this paper, we study to what extent opinion diversity matters for aggregate capital investment decisions. We develop a model where firms formulate heterogeneous expectations around a dominant narrative, or ‘market norm’, with their dispersion increasing over a finite planning horizon. Our analytical and numerical results suggest that belief heterogeneity can significantly affect the share of low-carbon investments, with the strength of its effects non-linearly correlated to market norms. We show that investment behaviour tends to be more sensitive to shocks to short-term, rather than long-term, belief heterogeneity, highlighting the importance of setting credible short-term targets. Finally, we find beliefs to interact strongly and in non-trivial ways with measures of short-termism, with increasing agents' farsightedness not necessarily leading to less carbon-intensive investments under high heterogeneity.
2023
Cahen-Fourot, Louison; Campiglio, Emanuele; Daumas, Louis; Miess, Michael Gregor; Yardley, Andrew
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/948400
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