nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2008‒08‒21
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. The Greenness of Cities: Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development By Edward L. Glaeser; Matthew E. Kahn
  2. Distributional Effects of Environmental and Energy Policy: An Introduction By Don Fullerton

  1. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Matthew E. Kahn
    Abstract: Carbon dioxide emissions may create significant social harm because of global warming, yet American urban development tends to be in low density areas with very hot summers. In this paper, we attempt to quantify the carbon dioxide emissions associated with new construction in different locations across the country. We look at emissions from driving, public transit, home heating, and household electricity usage. We find that the lowest emissions areas are generally in California and that the highest emissions areas are in Texas and Oklahoma. There is a strong negative association between emissions and land use regulations. By restricting new development, the cleanest areas of the country would seem to be pushing new development towards places with higher emissions. Cities generally have significantly lower emissions than suburban areas, and the city-suburb gap is particularly large in older areas, like New York.
    JEL: Q5
    Date: 2008–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14238&r=res
  2. By: Don Fullerton
    Abstract: This chapter reviews literature on the distributional effects of environmental and energy policy. In particular, many effects of such policy are likely regressive. First, it raises the price of fossil-fuel-intensive products, expenditures on which are a high fraction of low-income budgets. Second, if abatement technologies are capital-intensive, then any mandate to abate pollution may induce firms to use more capital. If demand for capital is raised relative to labor, then a lower relative wage may also hurt low-income households. Third, pollution permits handed out to firms bestow scarcity rents on well-off individuals who own those firms. Fourth, low-income individuals may place more value on food and shelter than on incremental improvements in environmental quality. If high-income individuals get the most benefit of pollution abatement, then this effect is regressive as well. Fifth, low-income renters miss out on house price capitalization of air quality benefits. Well-off landlords may reap those gains. Sixth, transition effects could well hurt the unemployed who are already at some disadvantage. These six effects might all hurt the poor more than the rich. This paper discusses whether these fears are valid, and whether anything can be done about them.
    JEL: H22 Q48 Q52
    Date: 2008–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14241&r=res

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