nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2008‒04‒29
twelve papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. On Environmental Subsidy/Tax Policy with Heterogeneous Consumers: An Application of an Environmentally Differentiated Duopoly Model By Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu
  2. Justifiability of Littering: An Empirical Investigation By Benno Torgler; María A.García-Valiñas; Alison Macintyre
  3. Secondary Issues and Party Politics: An Application to Environmental Policy By Anesi, Vincent; De Donder, Philippe
  4. The impact of Community-Based Ecotourism Projects in Amboró National Park By Fabián Soria
  5. Tourism Investments Under Uncertainty: an Economic Analysis of “Eco-monsters” By Guido Candela; Massimiliano Castellani; Maurizio Mussoni
  6. Hartwick's rule and maximin paths when the exhaustible resource has an amenity value By Antoine D'Autume; Katheline Schubert
  7. Biofuels for all? Understanding the Global Impacts of Multinational Mandates By Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally; Birur, Dileep
  8. Valuing lagoons using a meta-analytical approach: Methodological and practical issues By Geoffroy Enjolras; Jean-Marie Boisson
  9. The Permissible Reach of National Environmental Policies By Horn, Henrik; Mavroidis, Petros C.
  10. The Contribution of Economic Geography to GDP Per Capita By Hervé Boulhol; Alain de Serres; Margit Molnar
  11. A non-dictatorial criterion for optimal growth models By Alain Ayong Le Kama; Cuong Le Van; Katheline Schubert
  12. Should the regulator allow citizens to participate in tradable permits markets? By Olivier ROUSSE

  1. By: Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)
    Abstract: We apply a model of an environmentally differentiated duopoly to the analysis of environmental policy in the form of a subsidy/tax on consumers based on emission levels of products. More specifically, we consider environmental and welfare effects of subsidizing consumers who purchase environmental-friendly goods such as hybrid vehicles. Focusing on types of market coverage by heterogeneous consumers, we examine the issue in the cases of a Bertrand and a Cournot duopoly. In the case of full market coverage with a Bertrand duopoly, an environmental subsidy improves the environment and is socially optimal. However, in the case of partial market coverage, irrespective of mode of competition, the optimal policy depends on the magnitude of the marginal social valuation of environmental damage. That is, if the marginal social valuation of environmental damage is sufficiently large (small), an environmental tax (subsidy) is optimal. Furthermore, in the Bertrand duopoly case, the effect of subsidy on the environment is ambiguous, whereas in the Cournot duopoly case, the subsidy degrades the environment.
    Keywords: Environmentally differentiated product, Environmental subsidy/tax, Green market, Bertrand and Cournot duopoly
    JEL: D43 H23 L13
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Benno Torgler; María A.García-Valiñas; Alison Macintyre
    Abstract: The paper investigates the relationship between environmental participation and littering. Previous empirical work in the area of littering is scarce as is evidence regarding the determinants of littering behavior. We address these deficiencies, demonstrating a strong empirical link between environmental participation and reduced public littering using European Values Survey (EVS) data for 30 Western and Eastern European countries. The results suggest that membership in environmental organizations strengthens commitment to anti-littering behaviour, thereby supporting improved environmental quality.
    Keywords: littering; environmental participation; environmental preferences; environmental outcomes
    JEL: H26 H73 D64
    Date: 2008–04
  3. By: Anesi, Vincent; De Donder, Philippe
    Abstract: The paper develops a political economy model to assess the interplay between political party formation and an environmental policy dimension viewed as secondary to the redistributive dimension. We define being a secondary issue in terms of the intensity of preferences over this issue rather than in terms of the proportion of voters who care for the environment. We build on Levy (2004) for the political equilibrium concept, defined as the solution to a two stage game where politicians first form parties and where parties then compete by choosing a policy bundle in order to win the elections. We obtain the following results: i) The Pigouvian tax never emerges in an equilibrium; ii) The equilibrium environmental tax is larger when there is a minority of green voters; iii) Stable green parties exist only if there is a minority of green voters and income polarization is large enough relative to the saliency of the environmental issue. We also study the redistributive policies advocated by green parties.
    Keywords: electoral competition; income polarization; party formation; salience; stable green party
    JEL: D72 H23
    Date: 2008–04
  4. By: Fabián Soria (Institute for Advanced Development Studies)
    Abstract: This research examines selected Community Ecotourism projects in the Amboró National Park in Bolivia, which have been established by local environmental NGOs. The objective is to investigate the impact of these projects on the livelihoods and social relations in the communities. The main question that concerns us is if the projects have been effective in reducing or alleviating poverty and vulnerability, whilst providing environmental sustainability. The research also provides insight into the impact of the projects on social, cultural and economic structures of the communities. Furthermore, it will show whether the beneficiaries see Community Ecotourism projects as an important income and activity diversification option, and if they see the projects as environmentally sustainable. These issues can determine the final outcome of the project, and thus become decisive to evaluate if such projects can be used as a strategy to improve living conditions and reduce poverty. The research relies on interviews and data collected during fieldwork in Bolivia in July-August 2007. Four different Community Ecotourism projects in the Amboró National Park were visited, as well as key informants and stakeholders.
    Keywords: Ecotourism, poverty, sustainability, Bolivia
    JEL: Q26 Q57
    Date: 2008–03
  5. By: Guido Candela (University of Bologna and The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Rimini, Italy.); Massimiliano Castellani (University of Bologna and The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Rimini, Italy.); Maurizio Mussoni (University of Bologna and The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Rimini, Italy.)
    Abstract: “Ecological monsters” (“eco-monsters”) can be the bizarre, but legal, outcome of rational choices made by two agents: (i) a firm whose investments depend on Governmental permits; (ii) a policy maker having the discretionary power on the permits. This paper will determine the existence conditions which create a legal “eco-monster”. The model consists of a sequential noncooperative game with equilibrium in terms of positive expected firm profits and policy maker net balance ending up with a non-zero-sum game and a double failure: (i) a market failure, when the firm interrupts and abandons the investment, and (ii) a public failure, when the policy maker can not avoid the creation of “eco-monsters”. Policy implications and partisan party effects are explored: for certain parameters values, the economic policy can be ineffective in decreasing the “ecomonsters” frequency as a paradoxical, but rational, outcome in a stochastic framework, with real options and environmental externalities. JEL Classifications: C72-D62-D73
    Keywords: Noncooperative Games, Externalities, Real Options.
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Antoine D'Autume (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Katheline Schubert (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    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
  7. By: Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally; Birur, Dileep
    Abstract: The recent rise in world oil prices, coupled with heightened interest in the abatement of greenhouse gas emissions, has led to a sharp increase in domestic biofuels production around the world. Previous authors have devoted considerable attention to the impacts of these policies on a country-by-country basis. However, there are also strong interactions among these programs, as they compete in world markets for feedstocks and ultimately for a limited supply of global land. In this paper, we evaluate the interplay between two of the largest biofuels programs, namely the renewable fuel mandates in the US and the EU. We examine how the presence of each of these programs influences the other, and also how their combined impact influences global markets and land use around the world. We begin with an analysis of the origins of the recent bio-fuel boom, using the historical period from 2001-2006 for purposes of model validation. This was a period of rapidly rising oil prices, increased subsidies in the EU, and, in the US, there was a ban on the major competitor to ethanol for gasoline additives. Our analysis of this historical period permits us to evaluate the relative contribution of each of these factors to the global biofuel boom. We also use this historical simulation to establish a 2006 benchmark biofuel economy from which we conduct our analysis of future mandates. Our prospective analysis of the impacts of the biofuels boom on commodity markets focuses on the 2006-2015 time period, during which existing investments and new mandates in the US and EU are expected to substantially increase the share of agricultural products (e.g., corn in the US, oilseeds in the EU, and sugar in Brazil) utilized by the biofuels sector. In the US, this share could more than double from 2006 levels, while the share of oilseeds going to biodiesel in the EU could triple.
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Geoffroy Enjolras; Jean-Marie Boisson
    Abstract: Among coastal areas, lagoons are probably one of the most active and sensitive areas. They provide numerous goods and services that are of value to people. As public goods, there are freely accessible but in counterpart there are more endangered than other areas. Conflict uses between activities inside and outside the lagoons or between occasional and regular users imply to implement the lagoons economic values in order to provide a useful management tool. Many studies have been driven in order to estimate the impacts of the different activities on water quality and the willingness to pay for a better environment. We collect 32 lagoon studies providing 67 value observations in order to present a comprehensive meta-analysis of the valuation literature. This method allows estimating a function that takes into account the sites characteristics, methodological variables and lagoons services. The estimation of a meta-analytic function proves that all theses kinds of variables are important for the calculus of values. Moreover, we precisely determine the influence of the different variables on the value. Performing the transfer, we find an average transfer error amount equal to 87% but a median transfer error equal to 24%. This result due to a very small number of aberrant values is interesting with one-fourth of the transfers showing errors lower to 10% and nearly three-fourth of the transfers present errors lower to 50%.
    Date: 2007–04
  9. By: Horn, Henrik (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Mavroidis, Petros C. (Columbia Law School, New York)
    Abstract: Trading nations exchange tariff concessions in the context of trade liberalizing rounds. Tariffs, nonetheless, are not the only instrument affecting the value of a concession. Domestic instruments affect it as well, but public order is not negotiable, and, consequently, is not scheduled. Public order is unilaterally defined, but must respect the default rules concerning allocation of jurisdiction which are common to all WTO Members and bind them by virtue of their appurtenance to the international community. In this paper, we focus on the interaction between trade and environment. The purpose of this study is to highlight how these rules and the GATT/WTO jointly determine the scope for unilateral environmental policies for WTO Members. In the study we examine the relevant multilateral framework dealing with this issue, as well as the relevant GATT and WTO case-law. We also briefly present the jurisdictional default rules in Public International Law. As a means of focusing the discussion, we consider a series of scenarios, partly building on factual aspects of cases that have already been brought before the WTO. These scenarios are intended to isolate issues of specific interest from a policy point of view. For each scenario we then seek to determine what would the outcome be, in case WTO adjudicating bodies were to explicitly take account of the default rules concerning allocation of jurisdiction, something which has not been done to date. Our main conclusions are two-fold: on occasion, the outcome would be different, had WTO panels observed the default rules concerning allocation of jurisdiction; more generally, the default rules can help us understand the limits of some key obligations assumed under the WTO. Crucially, absent recourse to the default rules concerning allocation of jurisdiction, one risks understanding non-discrimination (the key GATT-obligation) as an instrument aimed to harmonize conditions of competition across markets, and not within markets, as the intent of negotiators has always been.
    Keywords: Trade and Environment; WTO
    JEL: F13 F18 F53
    Date: 2008–04–02
  10. By: Hervé Boulhol; Alain de Serres; Margit Molnar
    Abstract: This paper examines how much of the dispersion in economic performance across OECD countries can be accounted for by economic geography factors. More specifically, two aspects of economic geography are examined, namely the proximity to areas of dense economic activity and endowments in natural resources. To do so, various indicators of distance to markets, transportation costs, and dependence on natural resources are added as determinants in an augmented Solow model, which serves as a benchmark. Three measures of distance to markets are found to have a statistically significant effect on GDP per capita: the sum of bilateral distances, market potential and the weighted sum of market access and supplier access. And the estimated economic impact is far from negligible. The reduced access to markets relative to the OECD average could contribute negatively to GDP per capita by as much as 10% in Australia and New Zealand. Conversely, a favourable impact of around 6-7% of GDP is found in the case of two centrally-located countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. Endowments in natural resources are also found to have a significant positive effect on GDP per capita, suggesting that OECD countries have, on average, escaped the natural resource curse or severe forms of the Dutch disease. The paper provides also some tentative evidence that spending on R&D and human capital might have a stronger effect on GDP per capita in countries with a higher degree of urban concentration. <P>La contribution de l’économie géographique au PIB par tête <BR>Ce papier analyse la contribution des facteurs géographiques à la dispersion des performances économiques entre pays de l’OCDE. Plus particulièrement, deux aspects de l’économie géographique sont étudiés : la proximité de zones denses d’activités économiques et les dotations en ressources naturelles. Pour se faire, divers indicateurs de distance par rapport aux marchés, de coûts de transports, et de dépendance envers les ressources naturelles sont ajoutés comme déterminants dans un modèle de Solow augmenté, utilisé comme référence. Trois mesures de distance sont estimées avoir un effet significatif sur le PIB par habitant : la somme des distances bilatérales, le potentiel de marché et la somme pondérée de l’accès aux marchés et de l’accès aux fournisseurs. De plus, l’impact économique estimé est loin d’être négligeable. L’éloignement par rapport aux marchés pourrait pénaliser l’Australie et la Nouvelle Zélande, par rapport à la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE, à hauteur d’environ 10% de PIB. A l’inverse, la Belgique et les Pays Bas bénéficieraient de leur position centrale pour environ 6-7% de PIB. Les dotations en ressources naturelles sont estimées avoir un effet positif significatif sur le PIB par habitant, suggérant que les pays de l’OCDE ont, en moyenne, échappé au fléau des ressources naturelles ou aux formes sévères de la maladie hollandaise. Des premières indications suggèrent également que les dépenses en R&D et en capital humain peuvent avoir un effet plus fort sur le PIB par tête dans les pays ayant un fort degré de concentration urbaine.
    Keywords: natural resources, ressources naturelles, distance
    JEL: F12 O40 Q30 R11
    Date: 2008–04–14
  11. By: Alain Ayong Le Kama (EQUIPPE - Université de Lille I); Cuong Le Van (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Katheline Schubert (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: There are two main approaches for defining social welfare relations for an economy with infinite horizon. The first one is to consider the set of intertemporal utility streams generated by a general set of bounded consumptions and define a preference relation between them. This relation is ideally required to satisfy two main axioms, the Pareto axiom, which guarantees efficiency and the Anonymity axiom, which guarantees equity. Basu and Mitra (2003) show that it is impossible to represent by a function a preference relation embodying both requirements, and Basu and Mitra (2007) propose and characterize a new welfare criterion called utilitarian social welfare relation. In the same framework, Chichilnisky (1996) proposes two axioms that capture the idea of sustainable growth : non-dictatorship of the present and non-dictatorship of the future, and exhibits a mixed criterion, adding a discounted utilitarian part, which gives a dictatorial role to the present, and a long term part, which gives a dictatorial role to the future. The drawback of Chichilnisky's approach is that it often does not allow to explicity characterize optimal growth paths with optimal control techniques. Our aim is less general than Chichilnisky's and Basu and Mitra's : we want to have a non-dictatorial criterion for optimal growth models. We restrict ourselves to the set of utilities of consumptions which are generated by a specific technology. We show that the undiscounted utilitarian criterion pioneered by Ramsey (1928) is not only convenient if one wants to solve an optimal growth problem but also sustainable, efficient and equitable.
    Keywords: Anonymity, intergenerational equity, natural resources, non-dictatorship of the future, non-dictatorship of the present, optimal growth models, Pareto, social welfare function, social welfare relation, sustainability, utilitarian undiscounted criterion.
    Date: 2008–04
  12. By: Olivier ROUSSE
    JEL: Q50
    Date: 2008

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