nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2005‒11‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  2. Generating Value in Habitat-Dependent Fisheries: The Importance Of Fishery Management Institutions By Smith, Martin D.
  3. Natural Resource use Conflict: Gold Mining in Tropical Rainforest in Ghana By Akpalu, Wisdom; Parks, Peter J.
  4. Dams By Esther Duflo; Rohini Pande
  5. The bioeconomics of a wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) recreational fishery By Jon Olaf Olaussen; Anders Skonhoft
  6. Répondre aux préoccupations des pays en développement au sujet des mesures environnementales et sanitaires : Enseignements tirés des exemples nationaux By Dale Andrew; Karim Dahou; Ronald Steenblik
  7. Certification Systems as Tools for Natural Asset Building: Potential, Experiences to Date, and Critical Challenges By Michael E. Conroy
  8. Compensation for Environmental Services and Rural Communities: Lessons from the Americas By Herman Rosa; Deborah Barry; Susan Kandel; Leopoldo Dimas
  9. A Chinese Sky Trust? Distributional Impacts of Carbon charges and Revenue Recycling in China By Mark Brenner; Matthew Riddle; James K. Boyce
  10. Land Reform and Sustainable Development By James K. Boyce; Peter Rosset; Elizabeth Stanton
  11. Ammonia Abatement Strategies in Livestock Production: A Case Study of a Poultry Installation By Angus, A.J; Ian Hodge
  12. Sustainable Use and Management of Crop Genetic Resources: Landraces on Hungarian Small Farms By Ekin Birol; Melinda Smeale
  13. Using a choice experiment to estimate the non-use values of wetlands: The case of Cheimaditida wetland in Greece By Ekin Birol; Katia Karousakis; Phoebe Koundouri
  14. Crop Substitution on UK Sugar Beet Farms and its Effects on the Environment: A Multi-Product Cost Function Approach By Cesar L. Revoredo Giha; Alan W. Renwick
  15. Using a Choice Experiment to Estimate the Demand of Hungarian Farmers for Food Security and Agrobiodiversity During Economic Transition By Ekin Birol; Andreas Kontoleon; Melinda Smale
  16. Converging Paradigms for a Co-evolutionary Environmental Limit Discourse By Tom Dedeurwaerdere; Unai Pascual
  17. Development, Environmental Policy, and Mass Media: Theory and Evidence By Suphachol Suphachalasai
  18. The Value of Statistical Life and the Economics of Landmine Clearance in Developing Countries By John Gibson; Sandra Barns; Michael Cameron; Steven Lim; Frank Scrimgeour; John Tressler

    Abstract: Al final del año 1998, un año de pleno crecimiento económico después de largos períodos de violencia y enfrentamientos armados, Nicaragua fue azotada por el huracán Mitch que afectó al 19% de su población. Este estudio tiene como objetivo medir el impacto económico que tuvo este fenómeno en el bienestar de los hogares de la sociedad nicaragüense. Las variables gastos de consumo y valor de los activos son utilizados para la medición del impacto del huracán a mediano plazo en el bienestar de los hogares (dos años después de la catástrofe). Con datos colectados antes y después del huracán Mitch, se aplican los métodos de “diferencia-en-diferencia” y Efectos Aleatorios para la comparación las variables antes mencionadas entre dos periodos. Los resultados indican que el fenómeno natural afectó negativamente el bienestar de los hogares. En el caso del consumo, el huracán Mitch ha ocasionado una disminución de 211.00 (con el modelo de Efectos Aleatorios) a 230.65 córdobas (con el modelo de diferencia en diferencia) que equivale a una disminución de 20 a 22 dólares en el gasto mensual de los hogares de Nicaragua. El impacto de este fenómeno natural en el valor de los activos se evalúa entre 5,152.16 y 4,581.0 córdobas que equivale a una disminución de 487 a 433 dólares.
    Keywords: Desastre natural
    JEL: Q2
    Date: 2005–08–18
  2. By: Smith, Martin D.
    Abstract: This paper considers the dynamic producer and consumer benefits from improving habitat that supports a commercial fishery under two different fishery management institutions. By coupling state equations that represent the effects of estuarine eutrophication on fish populations with a multispecies, two-patch spatial bioeconomic model that endogenizes output price through residual demand, the analysis computes welfare changes from a major reduction in nutrient pollution. This, in turn, reduces the incidence of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) and enhances prey availability. The North Carolina blue crab fishery serves as the empirical application, and water quality improvements pertain to the Neuse River Estuary and the contiguous Pamlico Sound. The analysis simulates dynamic rent and consumer surplus changes from a 30% decrease in nitrogen loading under both open access (the status quo) and a partially rationalized fishery (constant total effort). Producer benefits from the environmental quality change are higher for the rationalized fishery than for open access but are of the same order of magnitude for some parameter values. Consumer benefits are larger than producer benefits and are comparable across institutions. However, the total benefits from improving environmental quality are small relative to the benefits from rationalizing the fishery and leaving environmental quality the same.
    Keywords: ecosystem services, open access, bioeconomics, spatial fishery
    JEL: Q22 Q57 Q51 Q25
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Akpalu, Wisdom (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University); Parks, Peter J. (Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, Cook College,)
    Abstract: Gold is frequently mined in rainforests that can provide either gold or forest benefits, but not both. This conflict in resource use occurs in Ghana, a developing country in the tropics where the capital needed for mining is obtained from foreign direct investment (FDI). We use a dynamic model to show that an ad valorem severance tax on gross revenue can be used to internalize environmental opportunity costs. The optimal tax must equal the ratio of marginal benefits from forest use to marginal benefits from gold extraction. Over time, this tax must change at a rate equal to the difference between the discount rate and the rate of change in the price of gold. Empirical results suggest that the 3 percent tax rate currently used in Ghana is too low to fully represent the external cost of extraction (i.e., lost forest benefits). <p>
    Keywords: Optimal taxation; Efficiency; Externality; Dynamic analysis; Firm behaviour
    JEL: C61 D21 H21 H23
    Date: 2005–10–28
  4. By: Esther Duflo; Rohini Pande
    Abstract: The construction of large dams is one of the most costly and controversial forms of public infrastructure investment in developing countries, but little is known about their impact. This paper studies the productivity and distributional effects of large dams in India. To account for endogenous placement of dams we use GIS data and the fact that river gradient affects a district's suitability for dams to provide instrumental variable estimates of their impact. We find that, in a district where a dam is built, agricultural production does not increase but poverty does. In contrast, districts located downstream from the dam benefit from increased irrigation and see agricultural production increase and poverty fall. Overall, our estimates suggest that large dam construction in India is a marginally cost-effective investment with significant distributional implications, and has, in aggregate, increased poverty.
    JEL: O21 O12 H43 H23
    Date: 2005–10
  5. By: Jon Olaf Olaussen (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Anders Skonhoft (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: A biomass model of a wild salmon (Salmo salar) river recreational fishery is formulated, and the ways in which economic and biological conditions influence harvesting, stock size, profitability, and the benefit of the anglers are studied. The demand for recreational angling is met by fishing permits supplied by profit maximizing landowners. In line with today’s stylized management practice in Norway, it is assumed that the suppliers do not take into account the fact that this year’s fishing effort influences next year’s stock size. Both price-taking and monopolistic supply is studied. These myopic schemes are contrasted with the social planner solution. Gear regulations in the recreational fishery, but also the commercial fishery, are analysed under the various management scenarios and the paper concludes with some policy implications. One novel result is that imposing gear restrictions in the marine fishery may have the opposite stock effect of imposing restrictions in the recreational fishery.
    Keywords: Bioeconomic model; conflicting interests; fishery economics; management; sport fishing; stock dynamics
    JEL: Q22
    Date: 2005–10–20
  6. By: Dale Andrew; Karim Dahou; Ronald Steenblik
    Abstract: Ce rapport fait le bilan des enseignements tirés d’une série de vingt études de cas réalisées par l’OCDE sur les problèmes spécifiques d’accès aux marchés que rencontrent les exportateurs des pays en développement du fait des exigences environnementales et sanitaires des pays développés. Reposant aussi sur des études de cas de la CNUCED et sur les échanges qui ont eu lieu à l’occasion d’un atelier organisé dans le cadre du Forum mondial sur les échanges à New Delhi, en novembre 2002, il met l’accent sur les solutions trouvées pour remédier à ces problèmes. Ceux-ci sont répartis en deux sections, la première concernant les besoins d’information et de renforcement des capacités des exportateurs des pays en développement, auxquels répondent à la fois les autorités nationales et les organisations non gouvernementales, et la deuxième les procédures d’élaboration, de mise en œuvre et de révision des réglementations et des normes. Bien que les problèmes examinés touchent une grande variété d’exportations et de productions fondées sur les ressources naturelles, ainsi qu’un échange de services, et concernent d’importants marchés à l’importation de la zone de l’OCDE, il n’est pas possible de tirer de conclusion générale sur l’ampleur des problèmes d’accès aux marchés créés par les mesures environnementales et sanitaires.
    Keywords: réglementation, environnement, accès aux marchés, norme, pays en développement, renforcement des capacités
    Date: 2004–10–20
  7. By: Michael E. Conroy
    Abstract: Certification systems are becoming important tools to encourage and reward social and environmental responsibility. This paper explores whether these systems, which generally have not been designed for the explicit aim of poverty reduction, can assist poor people, either individually or in community-based and small-to-medium production units, to build their natural assets as a basis for sustainable livelihoods. The paper examines two leading certification systems – the Forest Stewardship Council™ and the Fair Trade Certified™ system – and emerging systems in tourism and mining. The results to date have been mixed. In the forestry sector, poverty reduction benefits of certification have been modest relative to its environmental benefits. In the agricultural commodity trade, where certification systems have been designed with a stronger focus on reducing poverty, the benefits have been greater. The long-term challenge is to ensure that the rapid global uptake and ‘mainstreaming’ of certification systems does not create new hurdles for low-income individuals and communities.
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Herman Rosa; Deborah Barry; Susan Kandel; Leopoldo Dimas
    Abstract: In principle, payments for environmental services – such as watershed management, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration – can advance the goals of both environmental protection and poverty reduction. A review of recent initiatives in the Americas suggests, however, that this desirable combination is not automatic. If payments for environmental services (PES) schemes are to be an effective vehicle for strengthening livelihoods in poor rural communities, they must be designed with that objective firmly in mind. This paper draws key lessons from diverse experiences in Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, and New York.
    Date: 2004
  9. By: Mark Brenner; Matthew Riddle; James K. Boyce
    Abstract: The introduction of carbon charges on the use of fossil fuels in China would have a progressive impact on income distribution. This outcome, which contrasts to the regressive distributional impact found in most studies of carbon charges in industrialized countries, is driven primarily by differences between urban and rural expenditure patterns. If carbon revenues were recycled on an equal per capita basis via a ‘sky trust,’ the progressive impact would be further enhanced: low-income (mainly rural) households would receive more in sky-trust dividends than they pay in carbon charges, and high-income (mainly urban) households would pay more than they receive in dividends. Thus a Chinese sky trust would contribute to both lower fossil fuel consumption and greater income equality.
    Date: 2005
  10. By: James K. Boyce; Peter Rosset; Elizabeth Stanton
    Abstract: Land reform – the reallocation of rights to establish a more equitable distribution of quality. This paper surveys land reform strategies, illustrated by the postwar reforms in East Asia and the ‘bottom-up’ land reform today being led by Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement. Land reform can reduce rural poverty not only by channeling a larger slice of the agricultural- income pie to low- income households, but also by increasing the size of the pie by raising land productivity. Land reform’s contribution to poverty reduction can be magnified by spillover effects in the urban economy. With a supportive policy environment, land reform also can foster a transition to sustainable agriculture, due to the environmental comparative advantages of small farms.
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Angus, A.J (Institute of Water and Environment, Cranfield University at Silsoe, Bedford, MK45 4DT, UK); Ian Hodge (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 9EP, UK)
    Abstract: This study uses a linear programming approach to compare the potential effectiveness of uniform rules (under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive) and a landscape-scale based policy for reducing ammonia (NH3) emissions and their related impacts from a case study poultry installation. The model incorporates a variety of potential NH3 abatement techniques. It also incorporates the first application of a spatial model of the diffusion of environmental impacts from NH3 emissions. This models N deposition at a nearby nature reserve. The model finds that the uniform rules proposed under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive are likely to be ineffective in certain contexts and that a landscape-scale approach is more suitable for reducing N deposition from livestock production units in environmentally sensitive locations. However, the adjustments required are associated with large reductions in net margin. This reflects the limited range of cost-effective NH3 abatement techniques available. An alternative cost-effective abatement technique could be to maintain a spatial buffer between poultry production and sensitive receptors.
    Keywords: Ammonia, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, Broiler installations
    Date: 2005–04
  12. By: Ekin Birol (Homerton College and Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK); Melinda Smeale (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, USA and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: Crop genetic resources are natural assets that are necessary for future crop improvement. In isolated, marginal production environments where markets function imperfectly, farm families depend on them directly for food. In recognition of their importance, international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture encourage national governments to support their sustainable use and management, on farms and in gene bank collections. Hungary is a signatory to these international agreements. The aim of this study is to contribute research-based information to support the design of efficient and equitable conservation programmes for socially valuable crop landraces still found on small farms in Hungary. Landrace cultivation and richness is predicted with a Poisson hurdle model applied to data from a statistical survey of 323 households in three pilot conservation sites. Poorer, larger farm families with older decision-makers, who are more isolated from market infrastructure, are more likely to grow landraces and maintain greater landrace richness. Those managing smaller farms with lower quality soils and less irrigation have higher predicted probabilities of growing landraces. Findings suggest that the development of market infrastructure may contribute to abandonment of landraces, although specialised markets for high-quality products merit further investigation. Where economic development opportunities remain limited, supporting the continued management of crop genetic resources on farms could have positive equity implications and address other social goals, although the full cost and benefit implications of relevant policy instruments would need to be assessed in the context of Hungary’s national agri-environmental programme.
    Keywords: crop genetic resources, landraces, farm household model, Poisson Hurdle model, sustainable use and management,
    Date: 2005–02
  13. By: Ekin Birol (Homerton College and Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK); Katia Karousakis (Department of Economics, University College London, London, UK); Phoebe Koundouri (Department of Economics, Reading University, Reading, UK)
    Abstract: Despite wetlands being amongst the Earth's most productive ecosystems, they have been degraded and lost at an unprecedented rate globally, especially throughout the last century. In recognition of the importance of the crucial ecological functions and economic benefits they provide, international efforts, such as the Ramsar Convention, and European Union level efforts, such as the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), are now in place to ensure conservation, sustainable management and improvement of the remaining wetlands. This paper aims to assist policy makers in formulating efficient, effective and sustainable wetland conservation and management policies by providing them with the results of a valuation study using the Cheimaditida wetland in Greece as a case study. A choice experiment is employed to estimate the benefits of the non-use values of the Cheimaditida wetland that accrue to the Greek public. Results from this choice experiment reveal that there are positive and significant non-use values of this wetland for whose conservation the public is willing to pay. These results can be combined with private use values of wetlands, and weighed against the costs of alternative wetland management scenarios in order to carry out a comprehensive cost benefit analysis. Thus they can aid in the design of socially optimal policies for conservation and sustainable management of the Cheimaditida wetland, with implications for other wetlands in Greece and the rest of Europe.
    Keywords: Choice experiment, non-use values, wetlands, conditional logit model, random parameter logit mode
    Date: 2005–02
  14. By: Cesar L. Revoredo Giha (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK); Alan W. Renwick (Scottish Agricultural College)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect that the imminent reform of the EU sugar beet regime will have on United Kingdom (UK) sugar beet farms. Specifically, we estimate a multi-product cost function to analyze the effect the changes on the sugar beet price support and quota will have on the crop allocation of sugar beet farms and their aggregate use of inputs. Based on these estimates we discuss the implications that changes in the crop patterns may have on farm environmental variables such as soil loss and groundwater pollution.
    Keywords: Multi-product cost function, UK sugar beet production, CAP reform
    Date: 2005–06
  15. By: Ekin Birol (Homerton College, University of Cambridge, UK); Andreas Kontoleon (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK); Melinda Smale (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, USA and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: Hungarian home gardens are small farms that are repositories of agrobiodiversity and provide food security during economic transition. We use a choice experiment to test the hypothesis that farmer demand for home gardens will decrease as markets develop with European Union accession. Data represent 22 communities with varying levels of market and social infrastructure. We find that farmers located in more economically developed communities choose to be less dependent on small farms for food and prefer lower levels of agrobiodiversity. Findings indicate that the survival of small farms is jeopardized by economic change, but point to some conservation policy options.
    Keywords: food security, agrobiodiversity, home gardens, choice experiment, multi-functional agriculture
    Date: 2005–06
  16. By: Tom Dedeurwaerdere (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 1069 E. Meadow Circle Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA); Unai Pascual (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK)
    Abstract: This paper argues that the static vision in ecological economics of a fundamental clash between a neo-classical self-interest perspective and limit discourse as de-ontological perspective is an ineffective route towards disseminating environmental values and consciousness. Following the Ego'n'Empathy idea as a fusion of both perspectives to refocus the paradigm of ecological economics, it is argued that this evolution may face intense resistance from entrenched positions. A conceptual exploration of the roots of such resistances is discussed and an alternative, but complimentary process that addresses the need for and process of a synthesis is proposed. As an exemplar of this argument, the Porter Hypothesis is discussed as a complimentary guiding framework of how ecological economics as an action oriented paradigm can increase its influence as a policy guide, in terms of achieving sustainable development within entrenched and confrontational policy contexts
    Keywords: Environmental policy, economic growth, Porter Hypothesis, altruism, evolutionary economics
    Date: 2005–06
  17. By: Suphachol Suphachalasai (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between development, environmental policy determination, and mass media. It stresses the role of mass media as a channel through which the level of development influence environmental policy making. Special interests appear to wield considerable influence over environmental policies, and create policy distortion. We develop a model with two political parties competing in election and policy influence by special interests to study environmental policy determination. Mass media acts as information provider to voters in the election. It informs voters regarding environmental policy platforms announced by the political parties. The theory suggests that, as development progresses, environmental awareness rises and so does the demand for environmental news. This induces profit maximizing media form to report more environmental news, and in turn keeps voters better informed regarding the policy platforms of the parties. We find that, in equilibrium, a more stringent environmental policy is implemented when the voters are better informed through mass media. The model also demonstrates the way in which process of development brings about the stringency of environmental policy at a level closer to the social optimum when special interests present. Empirical evidence across countries supports our fndings.
    Keywords: Environmental Policy, Mass Media, Special Interests, Electoral Competition
    JEL: D72 D8 H23
    Date: 2005–02
  18. By: John Gibson (University of Canterbury); Sandra Barns; Michael Cameron; Steven Lim; Frank Scrimgeour; John Tressler
    Abstract: This paper presents estimates of the Value of Statistical Life (VSL) in rural Thailand using the contingent-valuation (CV) method. These estimates are applied to an economic analysis of landmine clearance. The estimated VSL of US$250,000 suggests that the value of lives saved from landmine clearance is at least an order of magnitude greater than the values used in existing studies.
    Keywords: Asia; Thailand; benefit-cost analysis; contingent valuation; landmines; value of statistical life
    JEL: J17 O22
    Date: 2005–04–01

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