Finding Common Ground When Experts Disagree: Robust Portfolio Decision Analysis

Erin Baker, Valentina Bosetti, Ahti Salo
2017 Social Science Research Network  
Within the IEB framework, the Chair of Energy Sustainability promotes research into the production, supply and use of the energy needed to maintain social welfare and development, placing special emphasis on economic, environmental and social aspects. There are three main research areas of interest within the program: energy sustainability, competition and consumers, and energy firms. The energy sustainability research area covers topics as energy efficiency, CO2 capture and storage, R+D in
more » ... gy, green certificate markets, smart grids and meters, green energy and biofuels. The competition and consumers area is oriented to research on wholesale markets, retail markets, regulation, competition and consumers. The research area on energy firms is devoted to the analysis of business strategies, social and corporative responsibility, and industrial organization. Disseminating research outputs to a broad audience is an important objective of the program, whose results must be relevant both at national and international level. ABSTRACT: We address the problem of decision making under "deep uncertainty," introducing an approach we call Robust Portfolio Decision Analysis. We introduce the idea of Belief Dominance as a prescriptive operationalization of a concept that has appeared in the literature under a number of names. We use this concept to derive a set of non-dominated portfolios; and then identify robust individual alternatives from the non-dominated portfolios. The Belief Dominance concept allows us to synthesize multiple conflicting sources of information by uncovering the range of alternatives that are intelligent responses to the range of beliefs. This goes beyond solutions that are optimal for any specific set of beliefs to uncover defensible solutions that may not otherwise be revealed. We illustrate our approach using a problem in the climate change and energy policy context: choosing among clean energy technology R&D portfolios. We demonstrate how the Belief Dominance concept can uncover portfolios that would otherwise remain hidden and identify robust individual investments. JEL Codes: O32, Q4, D80
doi:10.2139/ssrn.3091113 fatcat:tfhevolhlbgn3bp2p4crx4gzze