nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2013‒09‒28
fourteen papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. Ranking Distributions of Environmental Outcomes Across Population Groups By Glenn Sheriff; Kelly B. Maguire
  2. What do Environmental and Resource Economists Think? Results from a Survey of AERE Members By Timothy C. Haab; John C. Whitehead
  3. Modified Ramsey Discounting for Climate Change By Richard S.J. Tol
  4. Agri-Environmental Policy Effects at Producer Level - Identification and Measurement By Sauer, Johannes; Walsh, John; Zilberman, David
  5. Can Property Values Capture Changes in Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from a Stated Preference Study in Italy and the UK By Dennis Guignet; Anna Alberini
  6. Union of the Comoros: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper—Review of the Second Year of Implementation By International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
  7. Corruption, Entry and Pollution By Eleni Stathopoulou; Dimitrios Varvarigos
  8. EU ETS Phase 3 benchmarks: Implications and potential flaws By Stephen Lecourt
  9. Dryland Pastoral Systems in Transition: What are the Options for Institutional Change in Uzbekistan? By Shaumarov, Makhmud; Birner, Regina
  10. A Construção de Grandes Barragens no Brasil, na China e na Índia: Similitudes e Peculiaridades Dos Processos de Licenciamento Ambiental em Países Emergentes By Igor Ferraz da Fonseca
  11. Social Life Cycle Assessment: Eine sozioökonomische Analyse der Biogasproduktion By Henke, Sören; Theuvsen, Ludwig
  12. Nachhaltigkeit in der nordrheinwestfälischen Lebensmittelindustrie: Qualitative Analyse der zugrunde liegenden Motivationen und Barrieren By Rickert, Stephan
  13. An overview of CO2 cost pass-through to electricity prices in Europe. By Jouvet, Pierre-André; Solier, Boris
  14. Can Indifference Make the World Greener? By Egebark, Johan; Ekström, Mathias

  1. By: Glenn Sheriff; Kelly B. Maguire
    Abstract: This paper develops methods for evaluating distributional impacts of alternative environmental policies across demographic groups. The income inequality literature provides a natural methodological toolbox for comparing distributions of environmental outcomes. We show that the most commonly used inequality indexes, such as the Atkinson index, have theoretical properties that make them inappropriate for analyzing bads, like pollution, as opposed to goods, like income. We develop a transformation of the Atkinson index suitable for analyzing bad outcomes. We also show how the rarely used Kolm-Pollak index is particularly convenient for ranking distributions of both good and bad health and environmental outcomes. We demonstrate these methods in the context of emissions standards affecting indoor air quality.
    Keywords: environmental justice, distributional analysis, inequality indexes, Lorenz curves, benefit-cost analysis
    JEL: D61 D63 Q52 Q56
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Timothy C. Haab; John C. Whitehead
    Abstract: In this paper we present results from an opinion survey of Association of Environmental and Resource Economists members concerning issues ranging from basic market failure propositions to current policy questions to environmental behavior. The topical issues considered span the discipline including air and water pollution, sustainability, fishery, forestry and energy economics. We use entropy analysis to determine issues where there is consensus and multivariate analysis of the determinants of opinions. We find that AERE members reach consensus on a number of items of opinion and there are a number of items for which consensus is more difficult to reach. We find that agreement with items of opinion is influenced by noneconomic factors: concern about the environment and natural resources, political ideology, gender, the number of children in the household and United States residence. Key Words:
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: The Ramsey rule for the consumption rate of discount assumes a transfer of money of a (representative) agent at one point in time to the same agent at another point in time. Climate policy (implicitly) transfers money not just over time but also between agents. I propose three alternative modifications of the Ramsey rule to account for this. Taking the Ramsey rule as given, I derive an intuitively clear but ad hoc modification. Using the assumptions underlying the Ramsey rule, I derive a consistent but more elaborate modification. If the discount rate is differentiated by victim, the consistent modified Ramsey rule is simpler and identical to regional equity weights. I apply the modified Ramsey rules to estimates of the marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions. The results confirm that optimal climate policy has differentiated carbon taxes. Results also show that the standard Ramsey rule drastically underestimates the social cost of carbon.
    Keywords: Climate change, social cost of carbon, discount rate, Ramsey rule, equity
    JEL: H43 D63 Q54
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Sauer, Johannes; Walsh, John; Zilberman, David
    Abstract: This empirical study investigates the effects of different agri-environmental schemes on individual producer behaviour. We consider the effects on production intensity, performance and structure for a sample of UK cereal farms for the period 2000 to 2009 and use the policy examples of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme (ESS) and the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ). The econometric methodology is based on a directional distance function framework as well as the application of matching estimators. We find that both schemes are effectively influencing production behaviour at individual farm level. However, agri-environmental schemes show only very minor effects on the technical and allocative efficiency of farms, hence, we can conclude that farms enrolled in agri-environmental schemes are efficiently adjusting their production decisions given the constraints by the respective scheme. Farms affected by these schemes indeed tend to become less specialised and more diversified with respect to their production structure. A voluntary type agri-environmental scheme seems to signficantly influence producer behaviour at a far higher scale than a non-voluntary agri-environmental scheme. The methodological novelty of this research lies in the use of a sound production theory based multi-output multi-input approach to disentangle measures for production performance and structure which are then used as indicators for the robust treatment effects’ analyses.
    Keywords: Agri-Environmental Policy, PES, Directional Distance Function, Matching Estimators, Environmental Economics and Policy, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Dennis Guignet (National Center for Environmental Economics US Environmental Protection Agency); Anna Alberini (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics University of Maryland, and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Venice)
    Abstract: Hedonic property value models are often used to place a value on localized amenities and disamenities. In practice, however, results may be affected by (i) omitted variable bias and (ii) whether homebuyers and sellers are aware of, and respond to, the assumed environmental measure. In this paper we undertake an alternative stated preference (SP) approach that eliminates the potential for unobserved confounders and where the measure of environmental quality is explicitly presented to respondents. We examine how homeowners in the United Kingdom and Italy value mortality risk reductions by asking them to choose among hypothetical variants of their home that differ in terms of mortality risks from air pollution and price. To our knowledge this is the first stated preference study examining respondents’ willingness to pay for properties using a quantitative and clearly specified measure of health risks. We find that Italian homeowners hold a value of a statistical life (VSL) of about €6.4 million, but UK homeowners tend to hold a much lower VSL (€2.1 million). This may be due to the fact that respondents in the UK do not perceive air pollution where they live to be as threatening, and actually live in cities with relatively low air pollution levels. Exploiting part of our experimental design, we find that Italian homeowners value a reduction in the risk of dying from cancer more than from other causes, but UK respondents do not hold such a premium. We also find that those who face higher baseline risks, due to higher air pollution levels where they live, hold a higher VSL, especially in the UK. In both countries, the VSL is twice as large among individuals who perceive air pollution where they live as relatively high.
    Keywords: Home Values, Air Pollution, Stated Preference, Vsl, Value of Statistical Life, Value of a Prevented Fatality, Health Risks, Cancer Premium
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
    Keywords: Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers;Governance;Health care;Education;Infrastructure;Energy sector;Transport;Environmental sustainability;Comoros;
    Date: 2013–02–08
  7. By: Eleni Stathopoulou; Dimitrios Varvarigos
    Abstract: We model an economy where imperfectly competitive firms choose whether to employ a dirty technology and pay an emission tax or employ a clean technology and incur the cost of its adoption. Bureaucrats who are entrusted with the task of monitoring the emissions of each firm, are corruptible in the sense that they may accept bribes in order to mislead authorities on the firms’ actual emissions. Market entry is an important element in the relation between corruption and pollution. Particularly, the incidence of corruption increases the number of entrants in the market, while the bureaucrats’ incentives to be corrupt are higher in a market with more competitors. We find multiple equilibria where both corruption and pollution are either high or low.
    Keywords: Corruption; Pollution; Market entry
    JEL: L13 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2013–09
  8. By: Stephen Lecourt
    Abstract: In its third Phase (2013-20), the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme allocation methodology is shifting from grandfathering to a combination of auctioning and benchmarking. Free allocation is now be devoted to non-electricity generators only (save exemption), and is linearly decreasing throughout the Phase with a view of no free allocation in 2027. Benchmark-based free allocation is meant to reward lowest CO2-intensive installations as opposed to grandfathering, which allocated allowances based on historical emissions levels. This policy note describes the concrete implications involved by this shift in allocation methodology, and addresses the potential flaws of benchmarking-based allocation, using data from French nstallations’ Phase 3 provisional free allocation.
    Keywords: EU ETS, Benchmarks, Preliminary amounts, Carbon leakage, Historical Activity Level
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Shaumarov, Makhmud; Birner, Regina
    Abstract: Within the last two decades, 40% of rangelands in Uzbekistan have been taken out of use due to non-functioning water facilities and pasture degradation. A retrospective study of rangeland production system development in the former Soviet Union (FSU) shows that the pasture land was used more productively, socio-economic benefits were created in rural areas, and land degradation was effectively addressed. Considering that pasture lands are a common-pool resource, which – following the current discourse – might be best used by local communities, the question arises as to how the highly centralized Soviet system was able to achieve a very productive use. The historical analysis presented in this paper shows that this was achieved by means of (a) making intensive use of agricultural research on the one hand, and (b) setting-up an effective institutional structure, on the other. This paper aims at highlighting the role of agricultural research as well as institutional mechanism that allowed Soviets to manage common-pool resources productively, taking into account the political incentives to make such a system work. The paper also asks the question why lessons from the past were not derived to move the current transition reforms for the pastoral system in a direction that allows for a sustainable and productive use of this system. To better understand the current trends of change in dryland pastoral systems in a broader context of institutional reform, the current transition reforms and potential institutional options are discussed from a political economy perspective. Based on this approach, alternative options are derived for the further development of the rangeland production systems.
    Keywords: Agricultural research, Grounded Theory, Pastoral degradation, Political economy, Transition reforms in Uzbekistan, Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Political Economy,
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Igor Ferraz da Fonseca
    Abstract: Este texto analisa a adoção de procedimentos de licenciamento ambiental no Brasil, na Índia e na China em uma área crítica para a ambição desenvolvimentista desses países: a de construção de barragens e geração de infraestrutura hidrelétrica. Para tanto, e a partir de análise bibliográfica e documental, são apresentadas características dos processos de licenciamento ambiental de três empreendimentos internacionalmente conhecidos por seus grandes potenciais hidrelétricos e também por seus impactos socioambientais: a usina hidrelétrica de Belo Monte, no Brasil; o complexo hidrelétrico do rio Nu, na China; e a barragem de Sardar Sarovar, na Índia. Tendo em vista a adoção do instrumento de licenciamento ambiental – bem como características semelhantes que advêm da condição de países emergentes e grandes potências hidrelétricas –, é possível identificar similitudes na operação deste instrumento de gestão ambiental. Não obstante, peculiaridades nacionais fazem com que esses processos assumam um caráter único, marcado pelas distinções na configuração do Estado, nos padrões de interação entre agências governamentais e nas formas de ação da sociedade civil organizada. This working paper examines the adoption of environmental licensing procedures in Brazil, India and China in the construction of dams and hydropower generation. Based on bibliographical and documental analysis, this paper shows some characteristics of environmental licensing processes of three dam projects internationally known for its great hydroelectric potential and also for its social and environmental impacts: the Belo Monte Dam, in Brazil; the Nu River hydroelectric complex, in China; and the Sardar Sarovar Dam, in India. The results shows that is possible to identify some similarities in the operation of environmental licensing procedures in these three countries. However, the national peculiarities make that these processes takes a unique character, marked by distinctions in the state configuration, patterns of interaction and conflict between government agencies and different ways of action assumed by organized civil society.
    Date: 2013–08
  11. By: Henke, Sören; Theuvsen, Ludwig
    Abstract: Die Biogasproduktion in Deutschland wird nach einer zunächst positiven öffentlichen Bewertung mittlerweile zunehmend kritisch diskutiert. Insbesondere sozioökonomische Problemfelder wie die Auswirkungen der verursachten Strompreiserhöhung auf Konsumenten oder die Veränderung des Landschaftsbildes werden in der öffentlichen Diskussion als Kritikpunkte angeführt. In Ermangelung geeigneter Methoden steht eine ganzheitliche sozioökonomische Bewertung der Biogasproduktion bisher noch aus. Zur Durchführung einer entsprechenden Bewertung wird in diesem Beitrag das in der Entwicklung befindliche Social Life Cycle Assessment vorgeschlagen. Ziel dieses Beitrages ist die Darstellung einer erstmalig durchgeführten ganzheitlichen sozioökonomischen Bewertung der Biogasproduktion mittels eines weiterentwickelten Social Life Cycle Assessments und eines Vergleichs mit anderen erneuerbaren Energien. In der vergleichenden Betrachtung der sozioökonomischen Auswirkungen der Wertschöpfungsketten Biogas, Wind-, Solar-und Wasserenergie zeigt sich eine deutliche Schlechterbewertung der Biogasproduktion.
    Keywords: Sozioökonomische Bewertung, erneuerbare Energien, Social Life Cycle Assessment, Wertschöpfungskette Biogas., Agribusiness, Environmental Economics and Policy, Political Economy,
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Rickert, Stephan
    Abstract: Dieser Beitrag geht der Frage nach, wie Unternehmen der Lebensmittelindustrie in Nordrhein-Westfalen angesichts des neuen Umwelt- und Ressourcenschutzbewusstseins der Konsumenten und neuer politischer Zielvorstellungen, wie etwa die Strategie der Europäischen Union (EU) für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, die nationale Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie der Bundesregierung, neue Verpackungsverordnungen etc., das Themenfeld Nachhaltigkeit behandeln und intern umsetzen.Die industrieökonomische Analyse umfasst dabei alle Ebenen der Wertschöpfungskette vom vorgelagerten Bereich über Primärproduktion und Verarbeitung bis zum Handel. In diesem Beitrag wird aufgezeigt, wo die Unternehmen Defizite im Verständnis der Nachhaltigkeit aufweisen und wodurch Nachhaltigkeitsmanagement induziert wird, dabei wird auf branchenspezifische Unterschiede eingegangen.
    Keywords: Nachhaltigkeit, Lebensmittelindustrie, Wetschöpfungskette, Wissensstand, Agribusiness, Environmental Economics and Policy, Public Economics,
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Jouvet, Pierre-André; Solier, Boris
    Abstract: This paper investigates the link between wholesale electricity prices in Europe and the CO2 cost, i.e. the price of European Union Allowances (EUAs), over the two first phases of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). We set up a theoretical framework and an empirical model to estimate to what extent daily fluctuations of CO2 costs may have impacted electricity prices. Regarding estimation results for the first phase of the EU ETS, about 42% of estimated pass-through rates appear to be statistically significant, while only one third of them are statistically different from zero in the second phase. We try to improve those results by proposing alternative estimates based on the EU ETS compliance periods.
    Keywords: European Union Emissions Trading Scheme; EU ETS; spot markets;
    JEL: L94 G1 C58 C22
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Egebark, Johan (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Ekström, Mathias (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We test whether people's tendency to stick with the default option can help save resources. In a natural field experiment we switch printers' default settings, from simplex to duplex printing, at a large Swedish university. The results confirm that roughly one third of all printing is determined by the default alternative, and hence daily paper consumption drops by 15 percent due to the change. The effect is immediate, lasts throughout the experimental period, and remains intact after six months. We also investigate how the more conventional method of encouraging people to save resources performs, and find it has no impact. Recent theoretical and empirical contributions indicate that the default effect works through recommendation, depends positively on the number of alternatives in the choice set, and is reinforced for difficult decisions. We demonstrate that the default option matter in a simple, non-dynamic, decision task with only two alternatives, and where people have been explicitly informed about the recommended course of action.
    Keywords: Default option; Resource Conservation; Natural Field Experiment
    JEL: C93 D03 Q50
    Date: 2013–09–09

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