nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2012‒09‒30
27 papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. Will technological progress be sufficient to stabilize CO2 emissions from air transport in the mid-term? By Benoît Chèze; Julien Chevallier; Pascal Gastineau
  2. Sources of Comparative Advantage in Polluting Industries By Fernando Broner; Paula Bustos; Vasco Carvalho
  3. Green Public Procurement as an Environmental Policy Instrument:Cost Effectiveness By Lundberg, Sofia; Marklund, Per-Olov
  4. Competition for Land in the Global Bioeconomy By Hertel, Thomas; Jevgenijs Steinbuks; Uris Lantz Baldos
  5. The Determinants of Invention in Electricity Generation Technologies: A Patent Data Analysis By Elisa Lanzi; Ivan Haščič; Nick Johnstone
  6. Carbon Tax Salience and Gasoline Demand By Nicholas Rivers; Brandon Schaufele
  7. A Study on Environmental Compliance of Indian Leather Industry & its Far-reaching Impact on Leather Exports By Roy, Chandan
  8. Green Transformation of Small Businesses: Achieving and Going Beyond Environmental Requirements By Eugene Mazur
  9. The Economic Implications of Introducing Carbon Taxes in South Africa By Alton, Theresa; Arndt, Channing; Davies, Rob; Hartley, Faaiqa; Makrelov, Konstantin
  10. Emissions Cap or Emissions Tax? A Multi-sector Business Cycle Analysis By Yazid Dissou; Lilia Karnizova
  11. Centralization and Accountability: Theory and Evidence from the Clean Air Act By Federico Boffaa; Amadeo Piollatto; Giacomo Ponzetto
  12. Allocation of Transportation Cost & CO2 Emission in Pooled Supply Chains Using Cooperative Game Theory By Xiaozhou Xu; Shenle Pan; Eric Ballot
  13. Electricity Prices, River Temperatures and Cooling Water Scarcity By McDermott, Grant R.; Nilsen, Øivind Anti
  14. The SO2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment By Schmalensee, Richard; Stavins, Robert N.
  15. Globalization and the changing institution for sustainability: The case of the Salmon farming industry in Chile By Iizuka, Michiko; Katz, Jorge
  16. Valuing ecosystem diversity in South East Queensland: A life satisfaction approach By Christopher L Ambrey; Christopher M Fleming
  17. Deforestation in Brazilian private lands: An empirical assessment of land use changes within farms By David R. Heres; Ramon Arigoni Ortiz; Anil Markandya
  18. Bioenergy and Land Use Change By Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Miroslava Rajcaniova
  19. Environmental Shocks, Collaborative Networking, and Organizational Performance:Evidence from Hurricane Rita By Sangyub Ryu
  20. When do Firms Break the Law in Order to Reduce Marginal Cost? - An Application to the Problem of Environmental Inspection By Häckner, Jonas; Herzing, Mathias
  21. Health costs and benefits of ddt use in malaria control and prevention By Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Lagnaoui, Abdelaziz; Roy, Subhendu
  22. The Multiple Discrete-Continuous Extreme Value Model (MDCEV) with fixed costs By Tanner, Reto; Bolduc, Denis
  23. Some reflections on the current situation in China By Heberer, Thomas
  24. Optimal harvest age considering multiple carbon pools – a comment By Bjart Holtsmark, Michael Hoel, and Katinka Holtsmark
  25. (Anti-)Coordination Problems with Scarce Water Resources By Katrin Erdlenbruch; Raphael Soubeyran; Mabel Tidball; Agnes Tomini
  26. Tutela della biodiversità e livelli di interrelazione nei sistemi locali di alcuni ecotipi di specie ortive in Sicilia By Timpanaro, Giuseppe; Foti, Vera Teresa; Branca , Ferdinando; Di Vita, Giuseppe
  27. Export diversification and resource-based industrialization: the case of natural gas By Massol, O.; Banal-Estanol, A.

  1. By: Benoît Chèze; Julien Chevallier; Pascal Gastineau
    Abstract: This article investigates whether anticipated technological progress can be expected to be strong enough to offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from the rapid growth of air transport. Aviation CO2 emissions projections are provided at the worldwide level and for eight geographical zones until 2025. Total air traffic flows are first forecast using a dynamic panel-data econometric model, and then converted into corresponding quantities of air traffic CO2 emissions using specific hypotheses and energy factors. None of our nine scenarios appears compatible with the objective of 450 ppm CO2-eq. (a.k.a. "scenario of type I") recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). None is either compatible with the IPCC scenario of type III, which aims at limiting global warming to 3.2°C.
    Keywords: Air transport; CO2 emissions; Forecasting; Climate change
    JEL: C53 L93 Q47 Q54
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Fernando Broner; Paula Bustos; Vasco Carvalho
    Abstract: We study the determinants of comparative advantage in polluting industries. To do this, we combine data on environmental policy at the country level with data on pollution intensity at the industry level and show that countries with laxer environmental regulation have a comparative advantage in polluting industries. This is consistent with the existence of a pollution haven effect. Further, we address the potential problem of reverse causality. To do so we propose an instrument for environmental regulation based on meteorological determinants of pollution dispersion as identified by the atmospheric pollution literature. We find that the pollution haven effect is causal and economically significant.
    Keywords: international trade, environmental regulation, comparative advantage, air pollution
    JEL: F11 F18 Q53 Q56
    Date: 2012–03
  3. By: Lundberg, Sofia (Department of Economics, Umeå University); Marklund, Per-Olov (Center for Regional Science at Umeå University)
    Abstract: Estimates by the European Commission indicate that public authorities within the European Union typically purchase goods and services corresponding to approximately 16 percent of GDP per annum. Hence, it is believed, private firms can be stimulated to invest in less polluting production technologies if the market power of public bodies is exerted through Green Public Procurement (GPP) policies and legislation. It is commonly argued that there are considerable possibilities for cost-effective GPP. The aim of this paper is to scrutinize this argument by specifically answer the question whether GPP can work as a cost-effective environmental policy instrument in terms of leading firms to reducing emissions at least cost to society. Our main finding shows that this is not the case.
    Keywords: Auctions; Abatement; Compliance cost; Environmental objectives; Green technology; Investments
    JEL: H57 Q01 Q28
    Date: 2012–09–13
  4. By: Hertel, Thomas; Jevgenijs Steinbuks; Uris Lantz Baldos
    Abstract: The global land use implications of biofuel expansion have received considerable attention in the literature over the past decade. Model-based estimates of the emissions from cropland expansion have been used to assess the environmental impacts of biofuel policies. And integrated assessment models have estimated the potential for biofuels to contribute to greenhouse gas abatement over the coming century. All of these studies feature, explicitly or implicitly, competition between biofuel feed stocks and other land uses. However, the economic mechanisms governing this competition, as well as the contribution of biofuels to global land use change, have not received the close scrutiny that they deserve. The purpose of this paper is to offer a deeper look at these factors. We begin with a comparative static analysis which assesses the impact of exogenously specified forecasts of biofuel expansion over the 2006-2035 period. Global land use change is decomposed according to the three key margins of economic response: extensive supply, intensive supply, and demand. Under the International Energy Agency’s "New Policies" scenario, biofuels account for nearly one-fifth of global land use change over the 2006-2035 period. The paper also offers a comparative dynamic analysis which determines the optimal path for first and second generation biofuels over the course of the entire 21st century. In the absence of GHG regulation, the welfare-maximizing path for global land use allocates 170 Mha to biofuel feed stocks by 2100, with the associated biofuels accounting for about 30% of global liquid fuel consumption. This area expansion is somewhat diminished by expected climate change impacts on agriculture, while it is significantly increased by a moderately aggressive GHG emissions target and by advances in conversion efficiency of second generation biofuels.
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Elisa Lanzi; Ivan Haščič; Nick Johnstone
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of invention in efficiency-enhancing electricity generation technologies that have the potential to facilitate climate change mitigation efforts, including fossil fuelbased technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, renewables and nuclear technologies. The evolution of inventive activity in these technologies is analysed by considering patent data for 11 OECD countries over the period 1978-2008. The analysis considers various drivers of inventive activity, including R&D expenditures and electricity consumption, but pay particular attention to the role of fossil fuel prices because they suggest the impact that price mechanisms such as emissions trading and carbon taxes are likely to have on invention in the electricity generation sector.<P> The results show that the effect of fossil fuel prices varies according to the different types of technologies. As fossil fuel prices increase, inventive activity in renewable energy technologies increases while the effect of on fossil fuel-based technologies is positive but with decreasing increments. The results show that there is no effect of fossil fuel prices on patenting activity in nuclear energy technologies. These results illustrate that there may be a price-induced switching between renewable and fossil fuel-based technologies. As fossil fuel prices rise, an efficiency effect encourages inventive activity in both fossil fuelbased and renewable technologies. As fossil fuel prices increase further, invention in fossil fuel-based technologies starts declining suggesting that a substitution effect drives away innovation from fossil fuelbased towards renewable energy technologies.
    Keywords: innovation, energy, patents, climate change
    JEL: Q4 Q54 Q55
    Date: 2012–09–14
  6. By: Nicholas Rivers (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, 120 University St., Ottawa,Ontario); Brandon Schaufele (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 120 University St., Ottawa,Ontario)
    Abstract: We demonstrate that the carbon tax imposed by the Canadian province of British Columbia, a unique carbon pricing policy that comprehensively applies to all fossil fuels, caused a decline in short-run gasoline demand that is significantly greater than would be expected from an equivalent increase in the market price of gasoline. That the carbon tax is more salient, or yields a larger change in demand than equivalent market price movements, is robust to a range of specifications including intuitively plausible and strong instrumental variables. Along with calculating the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions attributable to the tax, we discuss potential explanations for the differential consumer responses to the carbon tax relative to the marketdetermined price.
    Keywords: Carbon tax, tax salience, instrumental variables, environmental pricing, gasoline demand.
    JEL: C26 H23 H29 Q41 Q58
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Roy, Chandan
    Abstract: Indian Leather industry is recognized as one of the most promising foreign exchange earning sectors since early ’70s of the previous century. The industry was hard hit by two consecutive foreign environment-bans since 1989. Along with that, few domestic environmental regulations also resulted into closure down of a number of leather tanneries in this period. However, the government intervention and the successive compliance measures adopted by the firms ultimately helped the industry to gain momentum in its export sector. This paper analyses the far reaching impact of these environmental regulations on export sector of Indian Leather Industry. Whether this boost in leather export marks a trade off relation between environmental quality and volume of exports is a matter of debate, attempted to be resolved here. This paper, within the limitations of data availability regarding environmental statistics, has determined a positive relation between environmental quality and volume of leather exports and justified that instead of Pollution Haven Hypothesis, Indian Leather Industry rather confirms Porter’s Hypothesis.
    Keywords: Leather Exports; Environmental Regulations; Compliance; Pollution Haven; Porter’s Hypothesis; BOD; CETP; ETP
    JEL: F18 F14
    Date: 2012–05
  8. By: Eugene Mazur
    Abstract: This report aims to help environmental and other competent authorities in OECD countries to promote green business practices among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It analyses different ways to establish environmental regulatory requirements for facilities with low environmental risk (most of which are SMEs). It also examines how to design and apply information and market-based tools to promote compliance with such requirements and adoption of cleaner technologies and good environmental management practices. The report suggests several ways to increase the effectiveness of these promotion tools with respect to the SME community.<P> The report addresses the roles of environmental authorities, local governments, business organisations and financial institutions in the greening of small businesses. It reviews in detail the experience of France, Ireland, Korea, the Netherlands and the UK (England and Wales and Scotland) and draws on examples of several other countries.
    Keywords: SMEs, green growth, environmental authorities, environmental compliance
    JEL: K32 K42 L53 M48 O44 O57 Q58
    Date: 2012–09–20
  9. By: Alton, Theresa; Arndt, Channing; Davies, Rob; Hartley, Faaiqa; Makrelov, Konstantin
    Abstract: South Africa is considering introducing carbon taxes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We evaluate potential impacts using a dynamic economy-wide model linked to an energy sector model. Simulation results indicate that a phased-in carbon tax that reache
    Keywords: carbon tax; growth; employment; income distribution; South Africa
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Yazid Dissou (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 120 University St., Ottawa,Ontario); Lilia Karnizova (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, 120 University St., Ottawa,Ontario)
    Abstract: In contrast to previous studies, this paper uses a multi-sector setting to assess aggregate and sectoral impacts of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the presence of stochastic productivity shocks. We develop a multi-sector dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, calibrated to the U.S. economy, to compare the economic implications of reducing carbon emissions with an emissions cap and with an emission tax. As in previous studies, we find that an emission cap predicts lower volatility of aggregate variables than an emission tax. Still, our results point to the importance of going beyond a single-sector analysis in evaluating the relative merits of the cap and the tax policies. The ranking of the welfare costs under the two regimes depends on the sources of productivity shocks. While there is no difference in the welfare costs of the two regimes for productivity shocks originating from non-energy sectors, we find that an emissions cap policy is more costly than an emission tax policy for shocks that originate from the energy sectors. Moreover, we find that non-energy shocks have distinct sectoral impacts under the two regimes even though there are no significant differences between the two regimes for the aggregate variables.
    Keywords: cap-and-trade; carbon tax; emissions; business cycle; multiple sectors
    JEL: E32 Q43 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Federico Boffaa; Amadeo Piollatto; Giacomo Ponzetto
    Abstract: This paper studies fiscal federalism when voter information varies across regions. We develop a model of political agency with heterogeneously informed voters. Rent- seeking politicians provide public goods to win the votes of the informed. As a result, rent extraction is lower in regions with higher information. In equilibrium, electoral discipline has decreasing returns. Thus, political centralization efficiently reduces aggregate rent extraction. The model predicts that a region’s benefits from centralization are decreasing in its residents’information. We test this prediction using panel data on pollutant emissions across U.S. states. The 1970 Clean Air Act centralized environ- mental policy at the federal level. In line with our theory, we find that centralization induced a differential decrease in pollution for uninformed relative to informed states.
    Keywords: political centralization, government accountability, imperfect information, interregional heterogeneity, elections, environmental policy, air pollution
    JEL: D72 D82 H73 H77 Q58
    Date: 2012–04
  12. By: Xiaozhou Xu (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - Mines ParisTech); Shenle Pan (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - Mines ParisTech); Eric Ballot (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - Mines ParisTech)
    Abstract: The sustainability of supply chain,both economical and ecological, has attracted intensive attentions of academic and industry. It is proven in former works that supply chain pooling given by horizontal cooperation among several independent supply chains create a new common supply chain network that could reduce the costs and the transport CO2 emissions. In this regard, this paper introduces a scheme to share in a fairly manner the savings. After a summary of the concept of pooled-supply-networks optimization and CO2 emission model, we use cooperative game theory as the cooperative mechanism for the implementation of the horizontal pooling. Since we proved the related pooling game to be super-additive, a fair and stable allocation of common gain in transportation cost and CO2 emission is calculated by Shapley Value concept. Through a case study, the results show that supply chains pooling can result in reductions of both transportation cost and carbon emissions, and that the increase of carbon-tax rate gives enterprises more incentives for the implementation of such pooling scheme.
    Date: 2012–05–23
  13. By: McDermott, Grant R. (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)); Nilsen, Øivind Anti (Norwegian School of Economics (NHH))
    Abstract: Thermal-based power stations rely on water for cooling purposes. These water sources may be subject to incidents of scarcity, environmental regulations and competing economic concerns. This paper analyses the effect of water scarcity and increased river temperatures on German electricity prices from 2002 to 2009. Having controlled for demand effects, the results indicate that the electricity price is significantly impacted by both a change in river temperatures and the relative abundance of river water. An implication is that future climate change will affect electricity prices not only through changes in demand, but also via increased water temperatures and scarcity.
    Keywords: thermal-based power, water scarcity, water-energy nexus
    JEL: Q25 Q41 Q5 C3
    Date: 2012–09
  14. By: Schmalensee, Richard (MIT); Stavins, Robert N. (Harvard University and Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: Two decades have passed since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 launched a grand experiment in market-based environmental policy: the SO2 cap-and-trade system. That system performed well but created four striking ironies. First, by creating this system to reduce SO2 emissions to curb acid rain, the government did the right thing for the wrong reason. Second, a substantial source of this system's cost-effectiveness was an unanticipated consequence of earlier railroad deregulation. Third, it is ironic that cap-and-trade has come to be demonized by conservative politicians in recent years, since this market-based, cost-effective policy innovation was initially championed and implemented by Republican administrations. Fourth, court decisions and subsequent regulatory responses have led to the collapse of the SO2 market, demonstrating that what the government gives, the government can take away.
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2012–08
  15. By: Iizuka, Michiko (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG); Katz, Jorge (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: The recent expansion of global demand for natural resources has created a production boom in countries endowed with natural resources. Increasing global trade and investment - globalization - offer an important opportunity for developing countries as the global flow of commodities often accompany knowledge and information to increase productivity to facilitate economic development. This positive feature of globalization has some serious drawbacks when the country is not equipped with an institution to ensure environmental sustainability. This paper sought to demonstrate this through the examination of the Chilean salmon farming case. The Chilean salmon farming industry has grown dramatically since the mid 1980s to become the number two exporter of farmed salmon in the world after Norway. The sector, however, suffered a decline in production volume due to the sanitary crisis in 2007. The case also tries to capture the on-going efforts made by the government to strengthen the institution to prevent further occurrences of environmental and sanitary crises.
    Keywords: Globalization, Environmental sustainability, Institution, Innovation, Technological change, Chile
    JEL: Q56 O20 O33 O54
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Christopher L Ambrey; Christopher M Fleming
    Keywords: Biodiversity, ecosystem diversity, Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), life satifaction, non-market valuation
    JEL: I31 Q51 C21 R10
    Date: 2012–10
  17. By: David R. Heres; Ramon Arigoni Ortiz; Anil Markandya
    Abstract: Within the perspective of evolving negotiations for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), the opportunity costs of deforestation are regarded as the basis for constructing a REDD mitigation cost curve. This paper presents a land-use model that measures the impact of economic and physical variables on farmers´ decisions about the allocation of their land among competing uses in Brazil. It is based on a multi-output land allocation model with agricultural land as fixed and allocatable input. For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, such a land allocation model has been estimated that explicitly separates all main competing uses for forest in Brazil – soybeans, sugarcane and pasture. Our results suggest a clear substitution effect between land allocation for forest and soybeans, and for forest and pasture. The results presented here represent crucial information for estimating the opportunity costs of deforestation at the county level in Brazil.
    Keywords: REDD; Deforestation; Brazil; Land-use model JEL Classification: C30, C51, Q11, Q23, Q24
    Date: 2012–08
  18. By: Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Miroslava Rajcaniova
    Abstract: This is the first paper that estimates the global land use change impact of bioenergy support policies. Applying the time-series analytical mechanisms to fuel, biofuel and the agricultural crops which are used to produce both food and bioenergy, we estimate the long-rung relationship between energy prices and the global land use change. Our results suggest that the bioenergy support policies contribute significantly to the global land use change. On the one hand, the share of agricultural crops being used for bioenergy production increases compared to food production. On the other hand, the total cultivated area increases, as the energy prices are rising.
    Keywords: Energy, bioenergy, prices, land use, biofuel support policies.
    JEL: C14 C22 C51 D58 Q11 Q13 Q42
    Date: 2012–09–12
  19. By: Sangyub Ryu (International University of Japan)
    Abstract: The literature has found that there is a link between an organization's environment and its performance. Some organizational theorists argue that management plays only a marginal role in this link. The present study objects to this argument. The literature on public management has observed that stability in an administrative system and collaborative networking with external actors can manage environmental influences. In an emergency context, public management literature has given more emphasis on collaborative networking than stability due to the need for timely application. Focusing on the role of collaborative networking in the environmentperformance link in an emergency context, this study examined the negative influences of Hurricane Rita on organizational performance. Furthermore, this study investigated how collaborative networking with emergency-relevant actors moderates the negative relationship. From Texas school district data, it was found that days of school closure due to Hurricane Rita (environmental shocks) lowered the overall students' academic achievement (organizational performance), but superintendents' regular meetings with external actors in preparation for emergencies (collaborative networking) moderated the decrease in students' academic performance. The findings of this study support the proposition that management matters to organizational performance.
    Keywords: collaborative networking, public management, emergency management, organizational performance
    Date: 2012–09
  20. By: Häckner, Jonas (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Herzing, Mathias (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This study attempts to identify firm characteristics that are important in determining whether or not a specific firm has strong incentives for non-compliance with environmental laws. In particular, we analyze how these incentives are related to the size of the cost reductions associated with non-compliance, business cycle conditions, the degree of product differentiation, market structure, and price versus quantity competition. When cost reductions are non-dramatic, in the sense that they do not lead to monopoly, the following rules of thumb are suggested. 1) Inspection should be intensified during booms, 2) firms that face high costs of compliance should be inspected more intensely and 3)firms that are insulated from competition by product differentiation or by lack of competitors should be inspected more intensely. Although our prime focus is environmental inspection, the theoretical findings readily extends to other similar applications such as VAT fraud and violations against import restrictions. They can also have some bearing on the monitoring of financial markets that are subject to regulation.
    Keywords: Environmental Inspection; Market Structure; Product Differentiation; Bertrand; Cournot
    JEL: K32 L13 Q58
    Date: 2012–09–20
  21. By: Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Lagnaoui, Abdelaziz; Roy, Subhendu
    Abstract: The Millennium Development Goal of achieving near-zero malaria deaths by 2015 has led to a re-examination of wider use of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloro-ethane) in indoor residual spraying as a prevention tool in many countries. However, the use of DDT raises concerns of potential harm to the environment and human health, mainly because of the persistent and bio-accumulative nature of DDT and its potential to magnify through the food chain. This paper quantifies the adverse effects of DDT on human health based on treatment costs and indirect costs caused by illnesses and death in countries that use or are expected to re-introduce DDT in their disease vector control programs. At the global level where the total population exposed to DDT is estimated around 1.25 billion, the findings indicate that while the use of DDT can lead to a significant reduction in the estimated $69 billion in 2010 U.S. dollars economic loss caused by malaria, it can also add more than $28 billion a year in costs from the resulting adverse health effects. At the country level, the results suggest that Sub-Saharan African countries with high malaria incidence rates are likely to see relatively larger net benefits from the use of DDT in malaria control. The net health benefits of reintroducing DDT in malaria control programs could be better understood by weighing the costs and benefits of DDT use based on a country's circumstances.
    Keywords: Disease Control&Prevention,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Health Systems Development&Reform,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
    Date: 2012–09–01
  22. By: Tanner, Reto; Bolduc, Denis
    Abstract: In this paper, we present a model that can be viewed as an extension of the traditional Tobit model. As opposed to that specific model, ours also accounts for the the fixed costs of car ownership. That extension is needed since being carless is an option for many households in societies that have a good system of public transportation, the main reason being that carless households wish to save the fixed costs of car ownership. So far, no existing model can adequately map the impact of these fixed costs on car ownership. The Multiple Discrete-Continuous Extreme Value Model (MDCEV) with fixed costs fills this gap. In fact, this model can evaluate the effect of policies intended to influence household behaviour with respect to car ownership, which can be of great interest to policy makers. Our model makes it possible to compute the effect of policies such as taxes on fuel or on car ownership on both the share of carless households and the average driving distance. We calibrated the model using data on Swiss private households in order to forecast were then able to forecast responses to policies. One result of particular interest that cannot be produced by other models is the evaluation of the impact of a tax on car ownership. Our results show that a tax on car ownership has a much lower impact on aggregate driving demand – per unit of tax revenues – than a tax on fuel.
    Keywords: The Multiple Discrete-Continuous Extreme Value Model (MDCEV); fixed costs; fuel consumption; carbon dioxide; emissions
    JEL: C51 D12 C24 Q40 C01
    Date: 2012–07–23
  23. By: Heberer, Thomas
    Abstract: The paper examines recent political and social developments in the People's Republic of China. It highlights some of the principle features in current Chinese politics: fragmentation of both the system and its actors; the role of the Chinese state as a developmental state; the issue of whether the party state exhibits stability and legitimacy. Furthermore, the discourses on political change within Chinese politics and intellectuals are addressed, the preconditions for a stable democracy are discussed and finally the function of the current Chinese state will be assessed. --
    Keywords: China,food security,food safety,agriculture,environmental pollution,NGOs,civil society,consumer protection,grain self-sufficiency,global food trade,waste management
    Date: 2012
  24. By: Bjart Holtsmark, Michael Hoel, and Katinka Holtsmark (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: In two recent papers, Asante and Armstrong (2012) and Asante et al. (2011) considered the question of optimal harvest ages. They found that the larger are the initial pools of dead organic matter (DOM) and wood products, the shorter is the optimal rotation period. In this note, it is found that this conclusion follows from the fact that the authors ignored all release of carbon from decomposition of DOM and wood products after the time of the first harvest. When this is corrected for, the sizes of the initial stocks of DOM and wood products do not influence the optimal rotation period. Moreover, in contrast to the conclusions in the two mentioned papers, our numerical analysis indicates that inclusion of DOM in the model leads to longer, not shorter, rotation periods.
    Keywords: Dead organic matter; forestry; Faustmann; carbon
    JEL: Q23 Q54 Q42
    Date: 2012–09
  25. By: Katrin Erdlenbruch; Raphael Soubeyran; Mabel Tidball; Agnes Tomini
    Abstract: This paper deals with the interactions between farmers who can choose between two water supplies (groundwater or rainwater) which are interdependent and have different productivities. Collecting rainwater reduces the amount of water that can replenish the aquifer and allows farmers to avoid the pumping cost externality (but increases the cost of pumping groundwater). We show that multiple equilibria can exist. For a policy-maker, this immediately raises the equilibrium selection issue. This problem is worsened by the fact that the number of equilibria increases with a decrease in the recharge rate. In addition, comparative statics show that, depending on the equilibrium, a policy intervention can have opposite effects. Finally, we show that asymmetric equilibria can also exist, when one group of farmers chooses to harvest rainwater to avoid the pumping cost externality and the other group chooses to pump groundwater.
    Date: 2012–09
  26. By: Timpanaro, Giuseppe; Foti, Vera Teresa; Branca , Ferdinando; Di Vita, Giuseppe
    Abstract: Italy is a country with a very rich biodiversity heritage, wonderful synthesis of a territory characterized by a consolidated agro-food tradition. In this context, Sicily plays a leading role with a wide supply of quality agri-food products based on strong relationship with the territory and marked by a high potential for specificity. Despite the socio-economic and environmental value of these productions is widely-accepted, they often suffer a low level of protection and support which greatly limit the possibilities of development and, in some cases, even survival. The paper, which present a short review of Sicilian traditional horticultural production, aims at identifying the specificity of local systems based on the cultivation of some horticultural local cultivars (Cavolfiore violetto Natalino, Cavolo Rapa di Acireale, Fava di Leonforte, and Cipolla di Giarratana) in centre and eastern areas of island. Crops were selected on the basis of two main criteria such as the characterization of the product (reputation) and the genetic specificity. The study tries to verify the presence of relational systems through the characterization of collective relationship among social and economic actors involved all over the chain (filiere).
    Keywords: traditional agro-food production;local system; governance; guardian farmer
    JEL: O18 Q13 O13 Q18
    Date: 2012–09–01
  27. By: Massol, O.; Banal-Estanol, A.
    Abstract: For resource-rich economies, primary commodity specialization has often been considered to be detrimental to growth. Accordingly, export diversification policies centered on resource-based industries have long been advocated as effective ways to moderate the large variability of export revenues. This paper discusses the applicability of a mean-variance portfolio approach to design these strategies and proposes some modifications aimed at capturing the key features of resource processing industries (presence of scale economies and investment lumpiness). These modifications help make the approach more plausible for use in resource-rich countries. An application to the case of natural gas is then discussed using data obtained from Monte Carlo simulations of a calibrated empirical model. Lastly, the proposed framework is put to work to evaluate the performances of the diversification strategies implemented in a set of nine gas-rich economies. These results are then used to formulate some policy recommendations.
    Keywords: Resource-based industrialization; Mean-variance portfolio; Export earnings volatility; Natural gas
    Date: 2012

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