nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions By Robert N. Stavins; Ruben N. Lubowski; Andrew J. Plantinga
  2. Pollution and the Efficiency of Urban Growth By Martin F. Quaas; Sjak Smulders
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility Through an Economic Lens By Robert N. Stavins; Forest L. Reinhardt; Richard H. K. Vietor
  4. A Meaningful U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Climate Change By Robert N. Stavins
  5. Environmental Policy Attitudes: Issues, Geographical Scale, and Political Trust By Jeffrey Milyo; David M. Konisky; Lilliard E. Richardson, Jr.
  6. Environmental Participation and Environmental Motivation By Benno Torgler; Maria A. Garcia-Valinas; Alison Macintyre

  1. By: Robert N. Stavins (Harvard University); Ruben N. Lubowski (USDA Economic Research Service); Andrew J. Plantinga (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: Land-use changes involve important economic and environmental effects with implications for international trade, global climate change, wildlife, and other policy issues. We use an econometric model to identify factors driving land-use change in the United States between 1982 and 1997. We quantify the effects of net returns to alternative land uses on private landowners’ decisions to allocate land among six major uses, drawing on detailed micro-data on land use and land quality that are comprehensive of the contiguous U.S. This analysis provides the first evidence of the relative historical importance of markets and Federal farm policies affecting land-use changes nationally.
    Keywords: Land Use, Land-Use Change, Econometric Analysis, Simulations
    JEL: O51 Q15
    Date: 2008–10
  2. By: Martin F. Quaas (University of Kiel); Sjak Smulders (University of Calgary and Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We analyze the efficiency of urbanization patterns in a dynamic model of endogenous urban growth with two sectors of production. Production exhibits increasing returns to scale on aggregate. Urban environmental pollution, as a force that discourages agglomeration, is caused by domestic production. We show that cities are too large and too few in number in equilibrium, compared to the efficient urbanization path, if economic growth implies increasing aggregate emissions. If, on the other hand, production becomes cleaner over time (`quality growth') the urbanization path approximates the efficient outcome after finite time.
    Keywords: Cities, Urbanisation, Pollution, Growth, Migration, Sustainable Development
    JEL: Q56 R12 O18
    Date: 2008–09
  3. By: Robert N. Stavins (Harvard University); Forest L. Reinhardt (Harvard Business School); Richard H. K. Vietor (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: Business leaders, government officials, and academics are focusing considerable attention on the concept of "corporate social responsibility" (CSR), particularly in the realm of environmental protection. Beyond complete compliance with environmental regulations, do firms have additional moral or social responsibilities to commit resources to environmental protection? How should we think about the notion of firms sacrificing profits in the social interest? May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Can they do so on a sustainable basis, or will the forces of a competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Do firms, in fact, frequently or at least sometimes behave this way, reducing their earnings by voluntarily engaging in environmental stewardship? And finally, should firms carry out such profit-sacrificing activities (i.e., is this an efficient use of social resources)? We address these questions through the lens of economics, including insights from legal analysis and business scholarship.
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Voluntary Environmental Performance
    JEL: M14 L51 Q50
    Date: 2008–10
  4. By: Robert N. Stavins (Harvard University)
    Abstract: There is growing impetus for a domestic U.S. climate policy that can provide meaningful reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. In this article, I propose and analyze a scientifically sound, economically rational, and politically feasible approach for the United States to reduce its contributions to the increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. The proposal features an up-stream, economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system which implements a gradual trajectory of emissions reductions over time, and includes mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty. I compare the proposed system with frequently discussed alternatives. In addition, I describe common objections to a cap-and-trade approach to the problem, and provide responses to these objections.
    Keywords: Cap-and-Trade System, Carbon Dioxide, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Global Climate Change, Carbon Taxes
    JEL: Q54 Q28 Q38 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Jeffrey Milyo (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); David M. Konisky; Lilliard E. Richardson, Jr.
    Abstract: Objectives. This article examines environmental policy attitudes, focusing on the differences in preferences across issue type (i.e., pollution, resource preservation) and geographical scale (i.e., local, national, global). In addition, we study whether an individuals trust in government influences environmental policy attitudes. Methods. Analyzing data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, we estimate a series of OLS regression models to examine the publics environmental policy attitudes. Results. We find stronger public support for government action to address pollution issues than resources issues, and stronger support for local and national pollution abatement than dealing with global problems. We also find that Republicans and ideological conservatives are less likely to support further government effort to address the environment, and that more trusting individuals are more favorable to government action to address pollution and global issues. Conclusion. Environmental policy attitudes vary by the nature of the issue; however, political ideology and partisan affiliation are consistent predictors of preferences across issues, even when controlling for an individuals level of trust in government.
    Keywords: Environment, NIMBY, Public Opinion, Political Economy
    JEL: Q5 H1
    Date: 2008–10–17
  6. By: Benno Torgler; Maria A. Garcia-Valinas; Alison Macintyre
    Abstract: We explore whether environmental motivation affects environmental behavior by focusing on volunteering. The paper first introduces a theoretical model of volunteering in environmental organizations. In a next step, it tests the hypothesis working with a large micro data set covering 32 countries from both Western and Eastern Europe using several different proxies to measure environmental motivation. Our results indicate that environmental motivation has a strong impact on individuals’ voluntary engagement in environmental organizations. A higher level of environmental motivation due to higher environmental moral standards may lead to a stronger voluntary involvement in environmental organizations.
    Keywords: environmental participation, environmental motivation, environmental morale, pro-environmental attitudes, social capital
    JEL: D11 H41 H26 H73 D64
    Date: 2008–10–23

This nep-res issue is ©2008 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.