nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
eight papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. Why Tax Energy? Towards a More Rational Energy Policy By David Newbery
  2. Greenhouse Cultivation in a Hot Arid Area By Girja Sharan; Jethava Kamalesh; Shamante Anand
  3. Model Economic Analyses: An Economic Impact Assessment of an Ethanol Production Facility in Iowa By Swenson, David A.
  4. Water, Water, Everywhere: Municipal Finance and Water Supply in American Cities By David Cutler; Grant Miller
  5. The Determinants of Environmental Awareness and Behavior By Quentin M. Duroy
  6. International inequalities in per capita CO2 emissions: a decomposition methodology by Kaya factors By Juan Antonio Duro Moreno; Emilio Padilla Rosa
  7. Environmental management problems, future generations and social decisions By Joan Pasqual Rocabert; Emilio Padilla Rosa
  8. Inequality in CO2 emissions across countries and its relationship with income inequality: a distributive approach By Emilio Padilla Rosa; Alfredo Serrano Mancilla

  1. By: David Newbery
    Abstract: The same fuels are taxed at widely different rates in different countries while different fuels are taxed at widely different rates within and across countries. Coal, oil and gas are all used to generate electricity, but are subject to very different tax or subsidy regimes. This paper considers what tax theory has to say about efficient energy tax design. The main factors for energy taxes are the optimal tariff argument, the need to correct externalities such as global warming, and second-best considerations for taxing transport fuels as road charges, but these are inadequate to explain current energy taxes. EU energy tax harmonisation and Kyoto suggest that the time is ripe to reform energy taxation.
    Keywords: tax, energy, oil, optimal tariff, externalities, exhaustible resources, global warming, road charges
    JEL: Q4 Q48 H21 H23 L71 R48
    Date: 2005–01
  2. By: Girja Sharan; Jethava Kamalesh; Shamante Anand
    Abstract: A facility for controlled environment agriculture is under investigation at Kothara (Kutch), a hot and extremely arid region. It consists of a greenhouse of 120 m2 floor area coupled in closed-loop mode to an earth-tube-heat-exchanger (ETHE) buried directly below. The ETHE provides conditioned air at 20 air changes per hour when needed. A 7.5 hp blower moves the air. Greenhouse is furnished with two continuous roll-up side vents, close-able continuous ridge vents and a retractable top cover made of shade net. Greenhouse has a fertigation system and an array of overhead foggers to supplement humidity and cooling. The ETHE was able to heat the house easily from 9oC to 22-23oC in half hour in the cold winter nights. Static ventilation from side and ridge vents along with shading was effective for day time control till early March. Subsequently ETHE was operated. It limits the greenhouse temperature gain keeping the inside near 36oC while shaded on top and when crop is inside. ETHE holds promise as an effective environmental control device in hot arid areas. A higher air change rate appears desirable to lower the temperature further. Two rounds of cropping has been done, the third is in progress. The results of growing tomato were presented else where. In this paper we present the results of growing capsicum.
    Keywords: greenhouse, arid environment, earth-tube-heat-exchanger
    Date: 2005–01–20
  3. By: Swenson, David A.
    Abstract: There are several ethanol plants in Iowa and several that are either planned or already under construction. This report assesses the regional economic effects that should accrue to a hypothetical Iowa county from the construction and operation of an ethanol processing plant. This economic assessment takes pains to make sure that the analysis does not double count economic activity in the agriculture commodity producing sector.
    Date: 2005–01–20
  4. By: David Cutler; Grant Miller
    Abstract: The construction of municipal water systems was a major event in the history of American cities %u2013 bringing relief from disease, providing resources to combat fires, attracting business investment, and promoting development generally. Although the first large-scale municipal water system in the United States was completed in 1801, many American cities lacked waterworks until the turn of the twentieth century. This paper investigates the reason for the century-long delay and the subsequent frenzy of waterworks construction from 1890 through the 1920s. We propose an explanation that emphasizes the development of local public finance. Specifically, we highlight the importance of municipal bond market growth as a facilitator of debt finance. We argue that this explanation is superior to others put forward in the literature, including disease knowledge, the presence of externalities, municipal population density, natural monopoly, contracting difficulties, corruption costs, and growth in the supply of civil engineers.
    JEL: N4 I1 H4
    Date: 2005–01
  5. By: Quentin M. Duroy (Department of Economics, Higley Hall, Denison University, Granville OH 43023, USA)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of environmental values across countries. Its purpose is to put the role of economic affluence into perspective by challenging the conventional wisdom that states that the level of economic affluence influences the level of environmental concern expressed by the population. While this paper does not question the fact that large scale environmental defensive activities are likely to be influenced by the level of income in a country, it is hypothesized that environmental awareness and individual involvement in environmental protection need not be a function of the level of economic affluence. To test this hypothesis, three variables are created-Positive Environmental Attitudes, Willingness to Pay to Protect the Environment, and Human-Environment Relationship-using data from the World Values Survey (1995-1997). The variables are regressed against a set of economic, demographic, political, psychological and education variables. The results show that economic affluence has, at best, a marginal direct influence on environmental awareness and no direct impact on environmental behavior. The paper demonstrates that the degree of urbanization, the level of subjective well-being and the level of income equality have direct effects on awareness, while education, population pressure and happiness are significantly correlated with environmental behavior.
    JEL: Q56 Q57 O50
    Date: 2005–01
  6. By: Juan Antonio Duro Moreno (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Emilio Padilla Rosa (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a methodology for decomposing international inequalities in CO2 emissions into Kaya (multiplicative) factors and two interaction terms. We use the Theil index of inequality and show that this decomposition methodology can be extended for analyzing between and within-group inequality components. The empirical illustration for international data suggests some points. Firstly, international inequality in per capita CO2 emissions is mainly attributable to inequalities in per capita income levels, which helps to explain its recent reduction, while differences in carbon and energy intensity have made a less significant contribution. This result is strongly influenced by the performance of China and India. Secondly, the between-group inequality component, which is the biggest component, is also largely explained by the income factor. Thirdly, the within-group inequality component increased slightly during the period, something mainly due to the change in the income factor and the interaction terms in a few regions.
    Keywords: Kaya factors, inequalities across countries, CO2 emissions, Theil index
    JEL: C19 D39 Q43
    Date: 2005–01
  7. By: Joan Pasqual Rocabert (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Emilio Padilla Rosa (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The decisions of many individuals and social groups, taking according to well-defined objectives, are causing serious social and environmental problems, in spite of following the dictates of economic rationality. There are many examples of serious problems for which there are not yet appropriate solutions, such as management of scarce natural resources including aquifer water or the distribution of space among incompatible uses. In order to solve these problems, the paper first characterizes the resources and goods involved from an economic perspective. Then, for each case, the paper notes that there is a serious divergence between individual and collective interests and, where possible, it designs the procedure for solving the conflict of interests. With this procedure, the real opportunities for the application of economic theory are shown, and especially the theory on collective goods and externalities. The limitations of conventional economic analysis are shown and the opportunity to correct the shortfalls is examined. Many environmental problems, such as climate change, have an impact on different generations that do not participate in present decisions. The paper shows that for these cases, the solutions suggested by economic theory are not valid. Furthermore, conventional methods of economic valuation (which usually help decision-makers) are unable to account for the existence of different generations and tend to obviate long-term impacts. The paper analyzes how economic valuation methods could account for the costs and benefits enjoyed by present and future generations. The paper studies an appropriate consideration of preferences for future consumption and the incorporation of sustainability as a requirement in social decisions, which implies not only more efficiency but also a fairer distribution between generations than the one implied by conventional economic analysis.
    Date: 2005–01
  8. By: Emilio Padilla Rosa (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Alfredo Serrano Mancilla (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the inequality in CO2 emissions across countries (and groups of countries) and the relationship of this inequality with income inequality across countries for the period (1971-1999). The research employs the tools that are usually applied in income distribution analysis. The methodology used here gives qualitative and quantitative information on some of the features of the inequalities across countries that are considered most relevant for the design and discussion of policies aimed at mitigating climate change. The paper studies the relationship between CO2 emissions and GDP and shows that income inequality across countries has been followed by an important inequality in the distribution of emissions. This inequality has diminished mildly, although the inequality in emissions across countries ordered in the increasing value of income (inequality between rich and poor countries) has diminished less than the “simple” inequality in emissions. Lastly, the paper shows that the inequality in CO2 emissions is mostly explained by the inequality between groups with different per capita income level. The importance of the inequality within groups of similar per capita income is much lower and has diminished during the period, especially in the low-middle income group.
    Keywords: environmental Kuznets curve, inequality across countries, CO2 emissions.
    Date: 2005–01

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