nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2015‒08‒13
27 papers chosen by
Francisco S. Ramos
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

  1. Do we care about sustainability? An analysis of time sensitivity of social preferences under environmental time-persistent effects. By Michela Faccioli; Nicholas Hanley; Catalina M. Torres Figuerola; Antoni Riera Font
  2. Trees Plus: Weyerhaeuser Ecosystem Services Reporting Project By Phillips, Cassie
  3. Building a Cross-Sector Coalition: Sustainable Communities for All and CA’s Cap-and-Trade Program By Choi, Laura
  4. Climate policy with the chequebook: Economic considerations on climate investment support By Kempa, Karol; Moslener, Ulf
  5. Econometric Models of Climate Systems: The Equivalence of Two-Component Energy Balance Models and Cointegrated VARs By Felix Pretis
  6. Proceedings of the Second South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice By Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  7. Has trade openness reduced pollution in China? By Sandra PONCET; Laura HERING; José DE SOUSA
  8. On Abatement Services: Market Power and Efficient Environmental Regulation By Damien Sans; Sonia Schwartz; Hubert Stahn
  9. China's Farewell to Coal: A Forecast of Coal Consumption through 2020 By Yu Hao; Zong-Yong Zhang; Hua Liao; Yi-Ming Wei
  10. Bargaining over Environmental Budgets: A Political Economy Model with Application to French Water Policy By Thomas, Alban; Zaporozhets, Vera
  11. Environmental awareness of nations: the interplay with institutional transformation By Smirnova, Janna
  12. How does globalization affect ecological pressures? A robust empirical analysis using the Ecological Footprint By Rudolph , Alexandra; Figge, Lukas
  13. The influence of collective action on the demand for voluntary climate change mitigation in hypothetical and real situations By Sturm, Bodo; Uehleke, Reinhard
  14. Analysing the Effectiveness of International Environmental Policies:The Case of the Kyoto Protocol.Vol. 39/15. By Almer, Christian; Winkler, Ralph
  15. Climate Tools and Information for the Southeast USA By Fraisse, Clyde
  16. Theoretical perspectives on the international transfer and diffusion of climate technologies By Gandenberger, Carsten
  17. How to make a carbon tax reform progressive: The role of subsistence consumption By Klenert, David; Mattauch, Linus
  18. Working Lands for Wildlife: Balancing Regulatory Predictability & At-Risk Species Conservation By Serfis, Jim
  19. Gone with the wind? The impact of wind turbines on tourism demand By Broekel, Tom; Alfken, Christoph
  20. Illegal trade in natural resources: Evidence from missing exports By Pierre-Louis Vezina
  21. Carbon-motivated border tax adjustment: a proposal for the EU By Paola Rocchi; Iñaki Arto; Jordi Roca; Mònica Serrano
  22. Modeling and Forecasting Carbon Dioxide Emission Allowance Spot Price Volatility: Multifractal vs. GARCH-type Volatility Models By Segnon, Mawuli; Lux, Thomas; Gupta, Rangan
  23. Balancing Opportunities and Costs in Hawaii’s Increasingly Green Grid By Karl Jandoc; Michael Roberts
  24. International Tax Cooperation and Implications of Globalization By CDP subgroup on Accountability
  25. Pushed by the crowd or pulled by the leaders? Peer effects in Pay-What-You-Want By Michal Krawczyk; Anna Kukla-Gryz; Joanna Tyrowicz
  27. Waste to Worth: Sustainable Processing Solutions By McHugh, Tara

  1. By: Michela Faccioli (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Nicholas Hanley (University of St. Andrews); Catalina M. Torres Figuerola (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Antoni Riera Font (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: Environmental cost-benefit analysis has traditionally assumed that environmental policies’ social benefits are sensitive to the timing of the improvement. Indeed, it has relied on the idea that policies’ outcomes, taking place at different moments in the future depending on the intervention’s performance or on environmental dynamics, are preferred if occurring earlier. However, this assumption needs to be verified as it may lead to consider as socially desirable policies being less so. This is especially important when interventions aim at counteracting time-persistent environmental problems, whose impacts occur in the long- and very long-term, respectively involving the present and future generations. In this framework, with the objective to test for the role of sustainability concerns, this study analyzes the time sensitivity of social preferences for preservation policies of adaptation to climate change stresses. Results have shown that preferences are time insensitive due to sustainability issues, as current generations equally care about nature preservation in the long-term, when they will enjoy it, and in the very long-term, when future generations will. These outcomes are relevant to better inform policy-making in the face of time-persistent environmental problems, by pointing out that, to be welfare-maximizing, interventions also need to be sustainable.
    Keywords: time-persistent environmental problems, sustainability, preference analysis, choice experiment, time sensitivity, climate change.
    JEL: D6 D90 Q51 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Phillips, Cassie
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2014–02–20
  3. By: Choi, Laura (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Why should community developers care about cap-and-trade and what do carbon emissions have to do with low-income households? As it turns out, the fields of environmental sustainability and community development have significant overlap, particularly in the area of transit-oriented development, where issues of affordability, equity, and displacement converge with concerns such as vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
    Date: 2015–04–08
  4. By: Kempa, Karol; Moslener, Ulf
    Abstract: Across the globe climate policy is shifting away from a carbon price towards investment subsidies, such as grants, interest-subsidised loans or guarantees. This increases the risk of inefficient public spending. This paper shows how the main market imperfections related to the emission externality, knowledge spillovers and capital market imperfections negatively affect the risk-return-profile of a climate investment. To some extent these negative impacts can be compensated through different forms of investment subsidies. Minimising the risk of inefficient public spending is, however, challenging and requires detailed understanding of technologies and markets at the project level. The analysis provides guidance for the design of appropriate investment subsidy schemes. Carbon prices and investment subsidies are not perfect substitutes, and - at least for developed economies - a carbon price remains the single most efficient instrument. This price should, however, coexist with other instruments, e.g. investment support schemes, which can be tailored to address the non-emission market imperfections related to climate change.
    Keywords: climate finance,investment support,policy instruments,environmental externality,innovation spillover,capital market failure
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Felix Pretis
    Abstract: Climate policy target variables including emissions and concentrations of greenhouse gases, as well as global mean temperatures are non-stationary time series invalidating the use of standard statistical inference procedures. Econometric cointegration analysis can be used to overcome some of these inferential difficulties, however, cointegration has been criticised in climate research for lacking a physical justification for its use. Here I show that a physical two-component energy balance model of global mean climate is equivalent to a cointegrated system that can be mapped to a cointegrated vector autoregression, making it directly testable, and providing a physical justification for econometric methods in climate research. Doing so opens the door to investigating the empirical impacts of shifts from both natural and human sources, and enables a close linking of data-based macroeconomic models with climate systems. My approach finds statistical support of the model using global mean surface temperatures, 0-700m ocean heat content and radiative forcing (e.g. from greenhouse gases). The model results show that previous empirical estimates of the temperature response to the doubling of CO2 may be misleadingly low due to model mis-specification.
    Keywords: Cointegration; VAR, Climate, Energy Balance.
    JEL: C32 Q54
    Date: 2015–06–25
  6. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Office of the General Counsel, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Office of the General Counsel, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Abstract: This publication documents the proceedings of the Second South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice, held on 30–31 August 2013 in Thimphu, Bhutan. It brought together chief justices, senior judges, and experts from various fields to consider common environmental challenges in the region, share experiences, and discuss opportunities for cooperation between judiciaries to enhance environmental adjudication and enforcement. The recommendations and the discussions led to the adoption of the Thimphu Declaration on Enhancing Environmental Justice in South Asia. The participants also agreed to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for Co-operation Amongst the South Asia Judiciaries, which aims to significantly improve the development, implementation, and enforcement of, and compliance with, environmental law.
    Keywords: environmental law, environmental justice, environmental rule of law, South Asia, Asian Judges Network on Environment
    Date: 2015–02
  7. By: Sandra PONCET (Université de Paris I); Laura HERING (FERDI); José DE SOUSA (FERDI)
    Abstract: We use recent detailed Chinese data on trade and pollution emissions to assess the environmental consequences of China’s integration into the world economy. We rely on a panel dataset covering 235 Chinese cities over the 2003-2012 period to see whether the environmental repercussions from trade openness depend on whether the latter concerns processing or ordinary activities. In line with our theoretical predictions, we find a negative and signicant effect of trade on emissions that is larger for processing trade and activities undertaken by foreign firms: the environmental gains from either ordinary trade activities or domestic firms are much lower, even though these today represent the main drivers of China’s export and import growth. This result suggests some caution regarding pollution prospects in the context of the declining role of processing trade.
    JEL: F10 F14 O14
    Date: 2015–07
  8. By: Damien Sans (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS); Sonia Schwartz (CERDI, Université d’Auvergne); Hubert Stahn (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study an eco-industry providing an environmental service to a competitive polluting sector. We show that even if this eco-industry is highly concentrated, a standard environmental policy based on a Pigouvian tax or a pollution permit market reaches the first-best outcome, challenging the Tinbergen rule. To illustrate this point, we first consider an upstream monopoly selling eco-services to a representative polluting firm. We progressively extend our result to heterogeneous downstream polluters and heterogeneous upstream Cournot competitors. Finally, we underline some limits of this result. It does not hold under the assumption of abatement goods or downstream market power. In this last case, we obtain Barnett's result.
    Keywords: environmental regulation, eco-industry, Imperfect Competition, abatement services
  9. By: Yu Hao; Zong-Yong Zhang; Hua Liao; Yi-Ming Wei (Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), Beijing Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: In recent decades, China has encountered serious environmental problem, especially severe air pollution that has affected eastern and northern China frequently. Because most air pollutants in China are closely related to coal combustion, the restriction of coal consumption is critical to the improvement of the environment in China. In this study, a panel of 29 Chinese provinces from 1995 to 2012 is utilized to predict China's coal consumption through 2020. After controlling for the spatial correlation of coal consumption among neighboring provinces, an inverted U-shaped Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) between coal consumption per capita and GDP per capita in China is detected. Furthermore, based on the estimation results and reasonable predictions of key control variables, China's provincial and national coal consumption through 2020 is forecasted. Specifically, under the benchmark scenario, consumption is expected to continue growing at a decreasing rate until 2020, when China's coal consumption would be approximately 4.43 billion tons. However, if China can maintain relatively high growth rate (an annual growth rate of 7.8 percent), the turning point in total coal consumption would occur in 2019, with projected consumption peaking at 4.16 billion tons.
    Keywords: Coal consumption, Environmental Kuznets Curve, Spatial correlation, Panel data, Forecast
    JEL: Q47
    Date: 2014–09–11
  10. By: Thomas, Alban; Zaporozhets, Vera
    Date: 2015–05
  11. By: Smirnova, Janna
    Abstract: The paper aims to investigate the main factors responsible for the acquisition of environmental awareness by societies. We apply the institutional analysis approach that puts in evidence the factors shaping formal and informal rules and their role in the acquisition of environmental concern. The analysis demonstrates how enforcement and flexibility of formal rules and purposeful formation of informal rules may contribute to create a favourable framework for the acquisition of environmental awareness. In particular, rule of law stringency is shown to be positively related to environmental concern of the countries. We, therefore, put forward a generic scheme of the interplay between institutional change and environmental awareness, where a double causality relationship always holds. The analysis may serve as a starting point to understand the origins of the acquisition of environmental awareness over the globe and can be used for an empirical analysis based on the debate on world environmental renascence.
    Keywords: Environmental awareness; institutional enforcement; rule of law; formal rules; informal rules; cognitive development.
    JEL: O43 O44 Q56
    Date: 2015–07–30
  12. By: Rudolph , Alexandra; Figge, Lukas
    Abstract: While the relationship between environmental pressures and globalization is often claimed to be unambiguously positive, there is a substantial gap in the literature regarding systematic evidence. We fill this gap by empirically disentangling the nexus between globalization and environmental degradation while at the same time taking the multidimensionality of the concepts serious. The Ecological Footprint (EF) provides a holistic approach to environmental degradation. We generate a data set covering 146 countries over the 1981-2009 period and use an Extreme Bounds Analysis (EBA) to identify a robust set of controls testing different claims of the literature. Subsequently, we test our hypothesis regarding globalization controlling for this vector of controls. Our findings suggest that the simple positive correlation has to be interpreted with care, since the multivariate analysis reveals a more detailed picture of the complex relationship.
    Keywords: Ecological Footprint; Globalization; EBA; Global environmental change
    Date: 2015–08–05
  13. By: Sturm, Bodo; Uehleke, Reinhard
    Abstract: In this experiment, we investigate determinants of the individual demand for voluntary climate change mitigation. Subjects decide between a cash prize and an allowance from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for one ton of CO2 that will be deleted afterwards. We vary the incentives of the decision situation in which we distinguish between real monetary incentives and a hypothetical decision situation with and without a cheap talk script. Furthermore, decisions were implemented either as purely individual or as a collective action using majority voting. We observe a significant hypothetical bias in the demand for voluntary climate change mitigation. In case of the individual decision situation this bias is caused solely by subjects with low income. Collective decision making affects demand positively in the hypothetical decision situation only.
    Keywords: demand for voluntary climate change mitigation,public goods,collective action,hypothetical bias
    JEL: Q51 Q54 C93
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Almer, Christian; Winkler, Ralph
    Date: 2015–07–20
  15. By: Fraisse, Clyde
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2015–02–19
  16. By: Gandenberger, Carsten
    Abstract: Enhancing developing countries' access to climate technologies can provide a significant contribution to addressing climate change on a global scale. However, the issue of international technology transfer has remained underexplored in the climate policy literature and more research on the role of climate technology firms is needed. However, simply revisiting existing firm-level theories about the firm's internationalization behavior and technology transfer strategy with a view on climate technology would not be sufficient given that the objective is a widespread technology diffusion. In addition, these theories need to be closer aligned with the extant literature on knowledge spillover and technology diffusion which provides answers to the question why some developing countries are able to absorb foreign technology successfully, whereas others are not. Taking this as a starting point, the paper relates firm-level theories on internationalization and transfer channel choice to the literature on knowledge spillover and technology diffusion with the help of a simple framework. This framework is then applied to the issue at hand: the international transfer and diffusion of climate technologies. Implications are derived for climate technology firms as well as for the countries involved in the transfer process.
    Keywords: International Technology Transfer,Climate Technology,Transfer Channel,Knowledge Spillover,Technology Diffusion
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Klenert, David; Mattauch, Linus
    Abstract: A major obstacle for introducing carbon pricing are its distributional implications: climate policy is believed to be regressive. We illuminate the role of carbon-intensive subsistence consumption for the prospect of making carbon pricing progressive. The distributional impacts of a carbon tax reform depend on the revenue recycling options: we prove that lump-sum transfers proportional to income and linear income tax cuts make the reform regressive and that this is due only to subsistence consumption. By contrast, returning the revenue as uniform lump-sum transfers renders the carbon tax reform progressive.
    Keywords: carbon tax reform, distribution, revenue recycling, inequality, non-homothetic preferences
    JEL: D3 D60 E62 H22 H23
    Date: 2015–08–03
  18. By: Serfis, Jim
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015–02–19
  19. By: Broekel, Tom; Alfken, Christoph
    Abstract: While wind energy production is relatively free from environmental externalities such as air pollution, it is frequently considered to negatively impact landscapes’ visual aesthetic values, thereby inducing negative effects on tourism demand. Ex- isting evidence for Germany indeed points towards a negative relationship between tourism demand and wind turbine construction. However, the existing studies pri- marily rely on interview data and simple bivariate statistics. In contrast, we make use of secondary statistics on tourism and wind turbine locations at the level of German municipalities. Using spatial panel regression techniques, we confirm a negative relation between wind turbines around municipalities and tourism demand for municipalities not located near the coast. In the latter regions, the relation between wind turbines and tourism demand is more complex.
    Keywords: wind turbines, tourism, Germany, externality, spatial panel regres- sion
    JEL: L83 Q42 Q48 R10
    Date: 2015–08–04
  20. By: Pierre-Louis Vezina
    Abstract: Countries restrict the export of natural resources to lower domestic prices, stimulate downstream industries, earn rents on international markets, or on environmental grounds.  This paper provides empirical evidence of evasion of such export barriers.  Using tools from the illicit trade literature, I show that exports of minerals, metals, or wood products are more likely to be missing from the exporter's statistics if they face export barriers such as prohibitions or taxes.  Furthermore, I show that this relationship is significantly higher in countries with high levels of corruption and bribes at customs.  The results have implications for the design of trade policies and environmental protection.
    Keywords: natural resources, illegal trade, trade barriers
    JEL: F13 O17 O19
    Date: 2015–02–13
  21. By: Paola Rocchi (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB)); Iñaki Arto (Basque Centre of Climate Change); Jordi Roca (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB)); Mònica Serrano (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB))
    Abstract: The analysis focuses on carbon-motivated border tax adjustment (CBTA). CBTA are tariffs applied to imports designed to avoid drawbacks of emission reduction policies when only one or few regions (the abating regions) implement them. Through CBTA the abating regions level out different treatment applied to domestic and imported products. In this paper we focus on CBTA metric. Through a multi-region and multi-sector analysis we compute and compare two possible CBTA systems that the European Union could implement to complement a hypothetical carbon tax applied to domestic products. In one system, tariffs are computed based on the emissions generated abroad to produce the goods imported by the European Union. In the second system, tariffs are based on the emissions that the European Union would have generated to produce domestically the same products. Results at country and sector level contribute to better understand the effects of this instrument and to add information to the political debate on it. Moreover, an important contribution of this analysis is that we explore methodological issues that arise from the use of multi-region and multi-sector models to compute different CBTA metrics.
    Keywords: Carbon-motivated border tax adjustmen, European Union, Embodied emissions, Avoided emissions, WIOD database.
    JEL: C67 D57 H23 Q56
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Segnon, Mawuli; Lux, Thomas; Gupta, Rangan
    Abstract: This paper applies Markov-switching multifractal (MSM) processes to model and forecast carbon dioxide (CO2) emission price volatility, and compares their forecasting performance to the standard GARCH, fractionally integrated GARCH (FIGARCH) and the two-state Markov-switching GARCH (MS-GARCH) models via three loss functions (the mean squared error, the mean absolute error and the value-at-risk). We evaluate the performance of these models via the superior predictive ability test. We find that the forecasts based on the MSM model cannot be outperformed by its competitors under the vast majority of criteria and forecast horizons, while MS-GARCH mostly comes out as the least successful model. Applying various VaR backtesting procedures, we do, however, not find significant differences in the performance of the candidate models under this particular criterion. We also find that we cannot reject the null hypothesis of MSM forecasts encompassing those of GARCH-type models. In line with this result, optimally combined forecasts do indeed hardly improve upon the best single models in our sample.
    Keywords: carbon dioxide emission allowance prices,GARCH,Markov-switching GARCH,FIGARCH,multifractal Processes,SPA test,encompassing test,backtesting
    JEL: Q47
    Date: 2015
  23. By: Karl Jandoc (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics); Michael Roberts (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy and oil-fired power plants make it the most oil dependent state in the United States. It also has the nation’s highest electricity prices, often between 3 and 4 times the national average over the last decade. These high prices, the state’s sunny and windy climate that make it amendable to increasingly economical renewable energy, plus a relatively progressive political culture have pushed the state to adopt an ambitious goal of being 100 percent renewable by 2045. Focusing mainly on the state’s largest grid on Oahu, where most people live, we discuss the cost structure of the current electricity system, the potential benefits and challenges of growing the share of renewable energy, and make a few policy suggestions. In particular, we argue that all homes and businesses should be given an opportunity to buy and sell electricity at the marginal cost of generation. Variable pricing could greatly the cost of renewable energy, and perhaps seed development of Hawaii as a technology center focused on batteries and smart machines that can help shift electricity demand to align with the variable supply of solar and wind energy.
    Date: 2015–07
  24. By: CDP subgroup on Accountability
    Abstract: The success of the post-2015 development agenda depends on adopting global goals for sustainable development and on designing a robust accountability system. All stakeholders should be involved in the accountability framework. While sustainable development goals (SDGs) are universal in character, they need to be adapted to national contexts, according to specific sets of constraints and opportunities. Countries need also to specify their global commitments to create an enabling environment for sustainable development worldwide. The adaptation of global goals into national targets ensures ownership and facilitates answerability, thus promoting an accountability framework that is inclusive, transparent and participatory bottom-up process.
    Keywords: Accountability, post-2015 development agenda, sustainable development goals, global governance, peer reviews, international cooperation
    JEL: F53 F55 F59
    Date: 2015–06
  25. By: Michal Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Anna Kukla-Gryz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: Literature on charitable giving often finds that seed money matters: the example of a wealthy donor is followed by others (List and Lucking-Riley, 2002). Nearly all relevant theoretical accounts (e.g. that leaders possess superior information on quality of the project) seem to apply to the closely related environment of Pay-What-You-Want mechanisms as well. Yet, as far as we can tell, no empirical study has tested for that until now. To fill this gap, we analyze data from 16 campaigns of BookRage (an equivalent of Humble Bundle, offering bundles of e-books). We make use of the fact that a fixed number of currently highest contributions are always displayed (along with mean contribution and total amount raised). Thus a discontinuity may be expected: contributions that are displayed might directly affect subsequent donors' behavior, in contrast to just slightly lower donations that are only observable as a (small) change in mean contribution. We find that the example of leaders makes no impact on willingness to purchase and amount paid. By contrast, the mean of past contributions has a positive impact on current contribution, yet a negative impact on the probability of contributing.
    Keywords: voluntary contribution, cultural goods, PWYW
    JEL: D4 D64
    Date: 2015
  26. By: Ayoub, Hassan; kertous, Mourad
    Abstract: This study on willingness to pay of Lebanese households to improve service quality drinking water is part of an economic environment that favors the beneficiaries' contribution to the management of social infrastructure. Its objective is to determine the level of input from consumers who would have a better service for drinking water. Through a socio-economic status, this study produces information that provide guidance on public opinion about the paid access to community facilities and the conditions under which consumers are willing to pay. Econometric analysis has identified the significant variables that influence the willingness to pay for improved food service. Consistent with the theory of demand, the income variable influence positively willingness to pay as opposed to the variable amount of water consumed. Based on theses willingness to pay, the study focuses on finding an appropriate pricing policy that would be a price level of consensus reconciling the purchasing power of consumers with the rate of return of establishments’ water.
    Keywords: Willingness to pay, service quality, drinking water, Lebanon.
    JEL: Q53 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2015
  27. By: McHugh, Tara
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2015–02–20

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