nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2008‒05‒17
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Does Trade Liberalization Reduce Pollution Emissions? By MANAGI Shunsuke; HIBIKI Akira; TSURUMI Tetsuya
  2. Equity Considerations and Payments for Ecosystem Services By Wendy Proctor; Thomas Köllner; Anna Lukasiewicz
  3. Ecological thought and concern for social inequalities: indifference, opposition or convergence? By Edwin Zaccaï
  4. Analysis of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Tax Proposals By Gilbert E. Metcalf; Sergey Paltsev; John Reilly; Henry Jacoby; Jennifer F. Holak

  1. By: MANAGI Shunsuke; HIBIKI Akira; TSURUMI Tetsuya
    Abstract: Literature on trade liberalization, economic development, and the environment is largely inconclusive about the environmental consequences of trade. This study treats trade and income as endogenous and estimates the overall impact of trade openness on environmental quality using the instrumental variables technique. Trade is found to benefit the environment using a globally representative sample. A 1% increase in trade openness causes a decrease of 0.344%, 0.754%, and 1.909% for SO2, CO2, and BOD emissions, respectively, in the long term. Our results also show composition and scale-technique effects contribute differently to the overall effect in the short and long term.
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Wendy Proctor (Policy and Economic Research Unit, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia); Thomas Köllner; Anna Lukasiewicz
    Abstract: Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are now increasingly being adopted as a solution to environmental conservation problems in many countries throughout the world. Examples of these market based instruments are tradable pollution permits or certificates for ecosystem services. However, equity outcomes have rarely been considered in the implementation of such instruments. Neo-classical economic analysis does not explicitly take such equity considerations into account with efficiency concerns being the overriding goal. Increasingly this is being seen as inadequate to meet sustainability objectives and there is evidence to suggest that the adherence to an equitable framework for such schemes may determine whether or not stakeholders will participate in these markets. In this paper we develop a framework for consideration of equity in PES schemes. First the background and historical beginnings of these instruments are provided. A review of some existing schemes, particularly those that have tried to address income equity (pro-poor schemes), is presented and raises important issues related to efficiency versus equity concerns A framework is then provided to allow for the consideration of equity and fairness in such schemes designed to protect and enhance ecosystem services. Here a methodology for measuring equity, fairness and justice issues in PES and market based instrument schemes is developed on a case by case basis.
    Keywords: Payment for Ecosystem Services, poverty, equity
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Edwin Zaccaï (Université Libre de Bruxelles, IGEAT)
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to assess key relations between ecological thought and concern for social inequalities. Building on the fact that these relations may be controversial, the analysis will proceed as a fictional trial, introducing two opposite thesis, one after the other. In the first section, arguments that tend to see ecological thought as indifferent or detrimental to social equity are presented. The second part, after the prosecution, will conduct the case for the defence: arguments that sustain the idea that ecological objectives reinforce the search for a social equity will be outlined. In both parts, authors belonging to five different clusters of discourse are considered: deep ecology, environmentalism and sustainable development, ecological modernisation, risk and technology management, and finally radical criticism of development (including political ecology). While the situation differs within these different groups of discourses, it appears that the aims of environmental protection and social equity on the whole do not necessarily converge nor diverge, one of the reasons being their disconnected histories. We conclude with a plea and a few propositions towards increased convergence between ecology and social equity.
    Keywords: Equity, Justice, Distribution, Social inequalities, Ecology, Green Thought
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Gilbert E. Metcalf; Sergey Paltsev; John Reilly; Henry Jacoby; Jennifer F. Holak
    Abstract: The U.S. Congress is considering a set of bills designed to limit the nation's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper complements the analysis by Paltsev et al. (2007) of cap-and-trade bills and applies the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to carry out an analysis of the tax proposals. Several lessons emerge from this analysis. First, a low starting tax rate combined with a low rate of growth in the tax rate will not reduce emissions significantly. Second, the costs of GHG reductions are reduced with the inclusion of non-CO2 gases in the carbon tax scheme. Third, welfare costs of the policies can be affected by the rate of growth of the tax, even after controlling for cumulative emissions. Fourth, a carbon tax -- like any form of carbon pricing -- is regressive. However, general equilibrium considerations suggest that the short-run measured regressivity may be overstated. Additionally, the regressivity can be offset with a carefully designed rebate of some or all of the revenue. Finally, the carbon tax bills that have been proposed or submitted are for the most part comparable to many of the carbon cap-and-trade proposals that have been suggested. Thus the choice between a carbon tax and cap-and-trade system can be made on the basis of considerations other than their effectiveness at reducing emissions over some control period.
    JEL: H23 Q54
    Date: 2008–05

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