nep-ene New Economics Papers
on Energy Economics
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
twenty-one papers chosen by
Roger Fouquet
Imperial College, UK

  1. Is Fuel-Switching a No-Regrets Environmental Policy? VAR Evidence on Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Energy Consumption and Economic Performance in Portugal By Alfredo M. Pereira; Rui Manuel Marvão Pereira
  2. Greenhouse-gas Emission Controls and International Carbon Leakage through Trade Liberalization By Jota ISHIKAWA; Toshihiro OKUBO
  3. Efficient Electricity Portfolios for the United States and Switzerland: An Investor View By Boris Krey; Peter Zweifel
  4. The Dematerialization Potential of the Australian Economy By Heinz Schandl; Graham M Turner
  5. Measuring Residential Energy Efficiency Improvements with DEA By Peter Grösche
  6. Scope of Electricity Efficiency Improvement in Switzerland until 2035 By Boris Krey
  7. The k-factor Gegenbauer asymmetric Power GARCH approach for modelling electricity spot price dynamics By Abdou Kâ Diongue; Dominique Guegan
  8. Ingresos Fiscales Petroleros y Provisión de Bienes Públicos Óptima By Castañeda, Alejandro; Villagómez, Alejandro
  9. Do High Oil Prices Matter? – Evidence on the Mobility Behavior of German Households By Manuel Frondel; Colin Vance
  10. Coalition Formation and the Ancillary Benefits of Climate Policy By Rübbelke, Dirk T.G.; Finus, Michael
  11. Using contests to allocate pollution rights By Kornienko, Tatiana; Hanley, Nick; MacKenzie, Ian A
  12. Integrated management of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia under climate variability and climate change hydropower and irrigation modeling: Hydropower and irrigation modeling By Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rajagopalan, Balaji
  13. Embodied pollution in Spanish household consumption: a disaggregate analysis By Jordi Roca; Monica Serrano
  14. Environmental Taxes and Industry Monopolization By de Vries, Frans P.; Schoonbeek, Lambert
  15. Willingness-to-Pay for Energy Conservation and Free-Ridership on Subsidization – Evidence from Germany By Peter Grösche; Colin Vance
  16. How long can excess pollution persist? The non-cooperative case By Pierre-Yves Hénin; Katheline Schubert
  17. Hartwick's rule and maximin paths when the exhaustible resource has an amenity value By Antoine D'Autume; Katheline Schubert
  18. The impact of climate variability and climate change on water and food outcomes: A framework for analysis By Ringler, Claudia
  19. Perceptions of stakeholders on climate change and adaptation strategies in Ethiopia: By Admassie, Assefa; Adenew, Berhanu; Tadege, Abebe
  20. Rising Food and Energy Prices: Projections for Labor Markets 2008-18 and Beyond By Huffman, Wallace
  21. El Sistema Europeo de Comercio de Emisiones: Diseño, Funcionamiento y Perspectivas By Pablo del Río González; Xavier Labandeira

  1. By: Alfredo M. Pereira (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Rui Manuel Marvão Pereira (Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, College of William and Mary)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to estimate the impact of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion activities on economic activity in Portugal in order to evaluate the economic costs of policies designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We find that energy consumption has a significant impact on macroeconomic activity. In fact, a one ton of oil equivalent permanent reduction in aggregate energy consumption reduces output by €6,340 over the long term, an aggregate impact which hides a wide diversity of effects for different fuel types. More importantly, and since carbon dioxide emissions are linearly related to the amounts of fuel consumed, our results allow us to estimate the costs of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from different energy sources. We estimate that marginal abatement costs for carbon dioxide are €45.62 per ton of carbon dioxide per year for coal, €66.52 for oil, €91.07 for gas, €191.13 for electricity and €254.23 for biomass. An important policy implication is that, once the overall economic costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are considered, fuel switching is a no-regrets environmental policy capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions without jeopardizing economic activity and indeed with the potential for generating favorable economic outcomes.
    Keywords: carbon dioxide emissions, energy and the economy, environmental policy, fuel-switching, vector autoregressive model
    JEL: C32 O13 Q43
    Date: 2008–10–26
  2. By: Jota ISHIKAWA (Hitotsubashi University and RIETI); Toshihiro OKUBO (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper studies greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission controls in the presence of carbon leakage through international firm relocation. The Kyoto Protocol requires developed countries to reduce GHG emissions by a certain amount. Comparing emission quotas with emission taxes, we show that taxes coupled with lower trade costs facilitate more firm relocations than quotas do, causing more international carbon leakage. Thus, if a country is concerned about global emissions, emission quotas would be adopted to mitigate the carbon leakage. Firm relocation entails a trade-off between trade liberalization and emission regulations. Emission regulations may be hampered by trade liberalization, and vice versa.
    Keywords: trade liberalization, global warming, Kyoto Protocol, emission tax, emission quota, carbon leakage
    JEL: F18 Q54
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Boris Krey (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Peter Zweifel (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This study applies financial portfolio theory to determine efficient electricity-generating technology portfolios for the United States and Switzerland, adopting an investor point of view. Expected returns are defined by the rate of decrease of power generation cost (with external costs included), their volatility, by its standard deviation. The 2003 portfolio contains Coal, Nuclear, Gas, Oil, and Wind in the case of the United States, and Nuclear, Storage hydro, Run of river, and Solar in the case of Switzerland, a country without domestic supplies of fossil fuels. Since shocks in generation costs are found to be correlated, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Estimation (SURE) is used to filter out the systematic component of the covariance matrix of the cost changes. Results suggest that as of 2003, the feasible maximum expected return (MER) electricity portfolio for the United States contains more Coal, Nuclear, and Wind than actual but markedly less Gas and Oil. By way of contrast, the minimum variance (MV) portfolio combines markedly more Oil, Coal, Nuclear, and Wind but almost no Gas. Therefore, regardless of the choice between MER and MV, U.S. utilities as investors are substantially inside the efficient frontier. This is even more true of their Swiss counterparts, likely due to continuing regulation of electricity markets.
    Keywords: efficiency frontier, energy, electricity, portfolio theory, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Estimation (SURE)
    JEL: C32 G11 Q49
    Date: 2008–10
  4. By: Heinz Schandl; Graham M Turner (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: In this paper we test the long term dematerialization potential for Australia in terms of materials, energy, and water use as well as CO2 emissions, by introducing concrete targets for major sectors. Major improvements in the construction and housing, transport and mobility, and food and nutrition sectors in the Australian economy, if coupled with significant reductions in the resource export sectors, would substantially improve the current material, energy and emission intensive pattern of Australia’s production and consumption system. Using the Australian Stocks and Flows framework we model all system interactions to understand the contributions of large scale changes in technology, infrastructure and lifestyle to decoupling the economy from the environment. The modelling shows a considerable reduction in natural resource use, while energy and water use decrease to a much lesser extent because a reduction in natural resource consumption creates a trade-off in energy use. It also shows that trade and economic growth may continue, but at a reduced rate compared with a business-as-usual scenario. The findings of our modelling are discussed in light of the large body of literature on dematerialization, eco-efficiency and rebound effects that may occur when efficiency is increased. We argue that Australia cannot rely on incremental efficiency gains but has to undergo a sustainability transition to achieve a low carbon future to keep in line with the international effort to avoid climate change and resource use conflicts. We touch upon the institutional changes that would be required to guide a sustainability transition in the Australian economy, such as, for instance, an emission trading scheme.
    Keywords: dematerialization, physical accounting, stocks and flows, resource productivity, material flows, Australia
    JEL: Q01 Q57 N57
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Peter Grösche
    Abstract: This paper measures energy efficiency improvements of US single-family homes between 1997 and 2001 using a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, an indicator of energy efficiency is derived by means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA),and the analogy between theDEAestimator and traditional measures of energy efficiency is demonstrated. The second stage employs a bootstrapped truncated regression technique to decompose the variation in the obtained efficiency estimates into a climatic component and factors attributed to efficiency improvements. Results indicate a small but significant improvement of energy efficiency over the studied time interval, mainly accounted for by fuel oil and natural gas users.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency, household production, data envelopment analysis, bootstrap
    JEL: C14 C61 D13 Q4
    Date: 2008–08
  6. By: Boris Krey (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This study uses Markowitz mean-variance portfolio theory with forecasted data for the years 2005 to 2035 to determine efficient electricity generating technology mixes for Switzerland. The SURE procedure has been applied to filter out the systematic components of the covariance matrix. Results indicate that risk-averse electricity users in 2035 gain in terms of higher expected return, less risk, more security of supply and a higher return-to-risk ratio compared to 2000 by adopting a feasible minimum variance (MV) technology mix containing 28 percent Gas, 20 percent Run of river, 13 percent Storage hydro, 9 percent Nuclear, and 5 percent each of Solar, Smallhydro, Wind, Biomass, Incineration, and Biogas respectively. However, this mix comes at the cost of higher CO2 emissions.
    Keywords: Efficiency Frontier, Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HH), Power Generation, Mean-Variance Portfolio Theory, Seemingly Unrelated Regression Estimations (SURE), Shannon-Wiener Index (SW)
    JEL: C32 G11 Q49 C23
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Abdou Kâ Diongue (UFR SAT - Université Gaston Berger - Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, School of Economics and Finance - Queensland University of Technology); Dominique Guegan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Electricity spot prices exhibit a number of typical features that are not found in most financial time series, such as complex seasonality patterns, persistence (hyperbolic decay of the autocorrelation function), mean reversion, spikes, asymmetric behavior and leptokurtosis. Efforts have been made worldwide to model the behaviour of the electricity's market price. In this paper, we propose a new approach dealing with the stationary k-factor Gegenbauer process with asymmetric Power GARCH noise under conditional Student-t distribution, which can take into account the previous features. We derive the stationary and invertible conditions as well as the δth-order moment of this model that we called GGk-APARCH model. Then we focus on the estimation parameters and provide the analytical from of the likelihood which permits to obtain consitent estimates. In order to characterize the properties of these estimates we perform a Monte Carlo experiment. Finally the previous approach is used to the model electricity spot prices coming from the Leipzig Power Exchange (LPX) in Germany, Powernext in France, Operadora del Mercado Espagñol de Electricidad (OMEL) in Spain and the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) interconnection in United States. In terms of forecasting criteria we obtain very good results comparing with models using hederoscedastic asymmetric errors.
    Keywords: Asymmetric distribution function, electricity spot prices, Leptokurtosis, persistence, seasonality, GARMA, A-PARCH.
    Date: 2008–02
  8. By: Castañeda, Alejandro (El Colegio de México); Villagómez, Alejandro (CIDE y Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Ciudad de México)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the fiscal implications of a stabilization fund that allows for a stable consumption over time, in particular in the case of an oil producing and exporting country like México. We discuss the functioning of an oil stabilization fund based on international experience and the Mexican experience. We present a model of optimal fiscal policy in the context of a country with important revenues generated by an exhaustible resource such as oil.
    Keywords: oil revenue, Mexico, public goods
    JEL: H21
    Date: 2008–03
  9. By: Manuel Frondel; Colin Vance
    Abstract: Focusing on travel survey data from Germany, this paper investigates the determinants of automobile travel, with the specific aim of quantifying the effects of fuel prices and fuel economy. The analysis is predicated on the notion that car mileage is a two-stage decision process, comprising the discrete choice of whether to own a car and the continuous choice of distance traveled. To capture this process, we employ censored regression models consisting of Probit and OLS estimators, which allows us to gauge the extent to which sample selectivity may bias the results. Our elasticity estimates indicate a significant positive association between increased fuel economy and increased driving, and a significantly negative fuel-price elasticity, which ranges between –35% and –41%.Taken together, these results suggest that fuel taxes are likely to be a more effective policy measure in reducing emissions than fuelefficiency standards.
    Keywords: Automobile travel, rebound effect, two-part model
    JEL: D13 Q41
    Date: 2008–10
  10. By: Rübbelke, Dirk T.G.; Finus, Michael
    Abstract: Several studies found ancillary benefits of environmental policy to be of considerable size. These additional private benefits imply not only higher cooperative but also noncooperative abatement targets. However, beyond these largely undisputed important quantitative effects, there are qualitative and strategic implications associated with ancillary benefits: climate policy is no longer a pure but an impure public good. In this paper, we investigate these implications in a setting of non-cooperative coalition formation. In particular, we address the following questions. 1) Do ancillary benefits increase participation in international environmental agreements? 2) Do ancillary benefits raise the success of these treaties in welfare terms?
    Keywords: impure public goods; game theory; coalition formation; climate policy; ancillary benefits
    Date: 2008–07
  11. By: Kornienko, Tatiana; Hanley, Nick; MacKenzie, Ian A
    Abstract: In this paper we advocate a new initial allocation mechanism for a tradable pollution permit market. We outline a Permit Allocation Contest (PAC) that distributes permits to …rms based on their rank relative to other …rms. This ranking is achieved by ordering …rms based on an observable 'external action' where the external action is an activity or characteristic of the …rm that is independent of their choice of emissions in the tradeable permit market. We argue that this mechanism has a number of bene…ts over auctioning and grandfathering. Using this mechanism e¢ ciently distributes permits, allows for the attainment of a sec- ondary policy objective and has the potential to be more politically appealing than existing alte rnatives.
    Keywords: initial allocation; pollution permits; Rank-order contests
    Date: 2008–10
  12. By: Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rajagopalan, Balaji
    Abstract: "Ethiopia possesses abundant water resources and hydropower potential, yet less than 5 percent of irrigable land in the Blue Nile basin has been developed for food production, and more than 80 percent of Ethiopians lack access to electricity. Consequently, the Ethiopian government is pursuing plans to develop hydropower and irrigation along the Blue Nile River in an effort to tap into this underused potential. Although approximately 84 percent of the inflow to Lake Nasser at Aswan, Egypt, initiates from Ethiopia through the Blue Nile and Atbara Rivers, Ethiopia has limited rights to use these resources. Egypt and Sudan, through the Agreement of 1959, are allotted 55.5 and 18.5 billion cubic meters each year, respectively, with no allotment to Ethiopia. In 1998 the Nile Basin Initiative was created to stimulate cooperation among all countries in the Nile basin and work toward amicable alternatives and solutions for water resources benefits. This brief is based on a paper that analyzes potential hydropower generation and irrigation supply for four large-scale dams and reservoirs along the Blue Nile River within Ethiopia—Karadobi, Mabil, Mendaia, and Border—as proposed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in 1964. The total installed hydropower capacity would be 5,570 megawatts of power, about 2.5 times the potential of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. Irrigation associated with the Mendaia and Border reservoirs could expand by 250,000 hectares or 35 percent of the estimated total irrigable land in the Blue Nile basin. The challenges of implementation, however, are not inconsequential. The proposed reservoirs not only raise financing, investment, political, and institutional challenges, but may also require many years to fill, which will affect downstream flows depending on variable climate and climate change conditions. Using a model for hydropower and irrigation analysis, the paper explores dam implementation viability under various policy options." from text
    Keywords: Integrated water resource management, Irrigation, Hydropower, Climate variability, Climate change,
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Jordi Roca; Monica Serrano (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this paper we apply an environmentally extended input-output model to analyse a specific issue related to the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. The purpose is to study whether the consumption structure ofwealthier households has a positive effect on the reduction of environmental pressures. Combining information from different databases, we analysed the impact of the consumption of Spanish households in 2000 on atmospheric pollution. We considered nine gases: the six greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs, and PFCs) and three other gases (SO2, NOx, and NH3). We classified households by quintiles of per capita expenditure and equivalent expenditure. We found that there was a positive and very high relationship between the level of expenditure and direct and indirect emissions generated by household consumption; however, the emission intensities tended to decrease with the expenditure level for the various atmospheric pollutants, with the exception of SF6, HFCs and PFCs.
    Keywords: input-output analysis, atmospheric pollution, environmental, consumption patterns, kuznets curve, spain
    JEL: Q51 C67
    Date: 2008
  14. By: de Vries, Frans P.; Schoonbeek, Lambert
    Abstract: This paper considers a market with an incumbent monopolistic firm and a potential entrant. Production by both firms causes polluting emissions. The government selects a tax per unit emission by maximizing social welfare. The size of the tax rate affects whether or not the potential entrant enters the market. We identify the conditions that create a market structure where the preferences of the government and the incumbent firm coincide. Interestingly, there are cases where both the government and incumbent firm prefer a monopoly. Hence, the government might induce profitable monopolization by using a socially optimal tax policy instrument.
    Keywords: market structure; taxes; monopoly; environmental pollution
    Date: 2008–09
  15. By: Peter Grösche; Colin Vance
    Abstract: Understanding the determinants of home-efficiency improvements is significant to a range of energy policy issues, including the reduction of fossil fuel use and environmental protection.This paper analyzes retrofit choices by assembling a unique data set merging a nationwide household survey from Germany with regional data on wages and construction costs. To explore the influence of both heterogeneous preferences and correlation among the utility of alternatives, conditional-, random parameters-, and error components logit models are estimated that parameterize the influence of costs, energy savings,and household-level socioeconomic attributes on the likelihood of undertaking one of 16 renovation options.We use the model coefficients to derive household-specific marginal willingness-to-pay estimates, and with these assess the extent to which free-ridership may undermine the effectiveness of recently implemented programs that subsidize the costs of retrofits.
    Keywords: Heterogenous preferences, residential sector, revealed-preference data
    JEL: C25 D12 Q4
    Date: 2008–08
  16. By: Pierre-Yves Hénin (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Katheline Schubert (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper describes a world composed of two (groups of) countries, which derive their utility from a polluting activity and from the enjoyment of a common environmental quality. The initial situation is both suboptimal and unsustainable: pollution leads to a continuous deterioration of environmental quality. The two countries have heterogeneous preferences for the environment, which are private knowledge. This prevents the adoption of abatement policies negotiated between the two countries, because each one has a strong incentive to announce in every negotiation an arbitrarily low preference for the environment. The two countries then engage in a war of attrition, each of them postponing abatement policies, in the hope that the other will concede …rst and abate more. We study for how long the adjustment is postponed, according to initial conditions, the greenness of the greenest country, the possible range of preferences and the rates of discount and natural regeneration.
    Keywords: war of attrition, environmental negotiations, climate change
    Date: 2008–05
  17. By: Antoine D'Autume (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Katheline Schubert (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper studies the maximin paths of the canonical Dasgupta-Heal-Solow model when the stock of natural capital is a direct argument of well-being, besides consumption. Hartwick's rule then appears as an efficient tool to characterize solutions in a variety of settings. We start with the case without technical progress. We obtain an explicit solution of the mmaximin problem in the case where production and utility are Cobb-Douglas. When the utility function is CES with a low elasticity of substitution between consumption and natural capital, we show taht it is optimal to preserve forever a critical level of natural capital, determined endogeneously. We then study how technical progress affects the optimal maximin paths, in the Cobb-Douglas utility case. On the long run path of the economy capital, production and consumption grow at a common constant rate, while the resource stock decreases at a constant rate and is therefore completely depleted in the very long run. A higher amenity value of the resource stock leads to faster economic growth, but to a lower long run rate of depletion. We then develop a complete analysis of the dynamics of the maximin problem when the sole source of well-being is consumption, and provide a numerical resoultion of the model with resource amenity. The economy consumes, produces and invests less in the short run if the resource has an amenity value than if doesn't whereas it is the contrary in the medium and long runs. However, and without surprise, the resource stock remains for ever higher with resource amenity than without.
    Keywords: Exhaustible resources, sustainability, Hartwick's rule.
    Date: 2008–04
  18. By: Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: "Over the coming decades, global change will have an impact on food and water security in significant and highly uncertain ways, and there are strong indications that developing countries will bear the brunt of the adverse consequences, particularly from climate change. This is largely because poverty levels are high, and developing-country capacity to adapt to global change is weak. Furthermore, the rural populations of developing countries—for whom agricultural production is the primary source of direct and indirect employment and income—will be most affected due agriculture's vulnerability to global change processes. The agricultural sector is the largest consumer of water resources, and variability in water supply has a major influence on health and welfare in poor areas. With water scarcity and extreme weather events expected to increase under climate change, water security could decline significantly in rural areas. Consequently, it is important to understand the impacts of global change (in terms of climate, demography, technology, and so on) on agriculture and natural resources in developing countries and to develop adaptive capacity to respond to these impacts. Moreover, there is a need to develop informed and effective adaptation measures and investment options that can be taken now to alleviate adverse impacts of global change in the future." from text
    Keywords: Climate change, food security, Climate variability, Global change, Water security,
    Date: 2008
  19. By: Admassie, Assefa; Adenew, Berhanu; Tadege, Abebe
    Abstract: "The potential adverse effects of climate change on Ethiopia's agricultural sector are a major concern, particularly given the country's dependence on agricultural production. Securing Ethiopia's economic and social well-being in the face of climate change requires that policymakers and stakeholders work together to integrate climate change adaptation into the country's development process. Three stakeholder discussion forums held in 2006 in Addis Ababa, Awassa, and Bahir Dar as part of the project, “Food and Water Security under Global Change: Developing Adaptive Capacity with a Focus on Rural Africa,” were attended by representatives of the government, civil society, business sector, and local communities. The forums elicited information to enable policymakers to make more informed decisions related to climate change adaptation. The forums complemented ongoing efforts to develop the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), which is overseen by a steering committee representing government, nongovernment, academic, and research institutions. Under NAPA, multidisciplinary technical working groups have been formed to assess the country's vulnerability to the adverse consequences of climate change, gauge current adaptation efforts, and identify ways in which public agencies could assist in minimizing the adverse impacts of climate change. In addition, two national and eight regional workshops were conducted involving nearly 500 participants with various areas of expertise. Like the stakeholder forums, the workshops solicited information to create greater awareness of climate change, assess the extent of the area's vulnerability, and help identify adaptation options. This brief is based on a paper that presents findings from the stakeholder discussion forums, as well as NAPA's technical working groups and workshops. These meetings explored stakeholders' perceptions of vulnerability to climate change and considered ways in which adaptation measures could be further integrated into Ethiopia's development process." from text
    Keywords: Climate change, Vulnerability, Policy recommendations, Adaptation measures,
    Date: 2008
  20. By: Huffman, Wallace
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine how the likely growth in the ethanol industry over the next decade will impact U.S. labor markets, especially migrant crop labor, which is largely immigrant labor. To build the background for making projections for 2008-2010 and beyond, the paper reviews and critiques: (i) the size and composition of the U.S. farm labor market, (ii) the demographics and wage of hired farm workers, (iii) the supply of farm workers, and (iv) the factors affecting the demand for farm labor, including new technologies. The final section provides some projections for agricultural labor markets, taking account not only of likely trends in energy prices but also new technologies that will affect labor demand in the future.
    Keywords: food prices, energy prices, migrant labor, immigrant labor, agricultural labor, labor intensive agriculture, agricultural technologies
    JEL: J2 O3 Q1
    Date: 2008–10–28
  21. By: Pablo del Río González; Xavier Labandeira
    Abstract: Los economistas han manifestado desde siempre su preferencia por el uso de los denominados instrumentos o de mercado en las políticas ambientales. Estos mecanismos reciben ese nombre porque, de acuerdo con la teoría económica, permiten precisamente emular el funcionamiento del mercado, reduciendo considerablemente los problemas de información asimétrica y facilitando así el cumplimiento del objetivo ambiental a mínimo coste (además de fomentar una reducción de emisiones continua en el tiempo). En este contexto, la Directiva 87/2003/EC implantó un Sistema de Comercio de Emisiones (SECE) en la Unión Europea (UE) con la intención fundamental de facilitar el cumplimiento de los objetivos del Protocolo de Kioto de una forma coste-eficiente. La primera fase de este sistema ha tenido lugar durante el período 2005-2007, recibiendo una considerable atención por parte de los economistas académicos. La mayoría de los estudios se concentran en uno de los siguientes dos aspectos: elementos de diseño del sistema (análisis a priori o ex-ante) y evaluación del funcionamiento del mismo (análisis a posteriori o ex-post). Este capítulo trata de combinar ambas perspectivas, apuntando posibles ventajas e inconvenientes de los elementos de diseño del sistema elegidos y evaluando distintos aspectos del funcionamiento del mismo de acuerdo a una serie de criterios comúnmente aceptados por la literatura. La conclusión fundamental es que, a pesar de ciertos aspectos negativos de diseño y funcionamiento del SECE y teniendo en cuenta de que se trataba de una fase de prueba, éste ha conseguido buena parte de sus objetivos. En particular, el SECE ha dado pie a un importante cambio institucional al crear un precio por la emisión de dióxido de carbono (CO2) y a su internalización por las empresas en sus estructuras de costes. No obstante, apuntamos que el SECE puede y debe mejorarse para acentuar su eficacia ambiental y la promoción del cambio tecnológico.
    Date: 2008–09

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