nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒27
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Are
 compact
 cities
 environmentally
 friendly? By Carl Gaigné; Stéphane Rioux; Jacques-François Thisse
  2. Bio-economics of Conservation Agriculture and Soil Carbon Sequestration in Developing Countries By Akpalu, Wisdom; Anders, Ekbom
  3. The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey By Frankel, Jeffrey

  1. By: Carl Gaigné (INRA-ESR - Unité d'économie et de sociologie rurales - INRA); Stéphane Rioux (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines); Jacques-François Thisse (CORE - Université Catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: There is a large consensus among international institutions and national governments to favor urban-containment policies - the compact city - as a way to reduce the ecological footprint of cities. This approach overlooks the following basic trade-off: the concentration of activities decreases the ecological footprint stemming from commodity shipping between cities, but it increases emissions of greenhouse gas by inducing longer worktrips. What matters for the ecological footprint of cities is the mix between urban density and the global pattern of activities. As expected, when both the intercity and intraurban distributions of activities are given, a higher urban density makes cities more environmentally friendly and raises global welfare. However, once we account for the fact that cities may be either monocentric or polycentric as well as for the relocation of activities between cities, the relationship between density and the ecological footprints appears to be much more involved. Indeed, because changes in urban density affect land rents and wages, firms are incited to relocate, thus leading to new commuting patterns. We show policies that favor the decentralization of jobs in big cities may reduce global pollution and improve global welfare.
    Keywords: greenhouse gas; commuting costs; transport costs; cities; urban containment policy
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00456610_v1&r=res
  2. By: Akpalu, Wisdom (Department of History, Economics and Politics (HEP), State University of New York-Farmingdale); Anders, Ekbom (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Improvement in soil carbon through conservation agriculture in developing countries may generate some private benefits to farmers as well as sequester carbon emissions, which is a positive externality to society. Leaving crop residue on the farm has become an important option in conservation agriculture practice. However, in developing countries, using crop residue for conservation agriculture has the opportunity cost of say feed for livestock. In this paper, we model and develop an expression for an optimum economic incentive that is necessary to internalize the positive externality. A crude value of the tax is calculated using data from Kenya. We also empirically investigated the determinants of the crop residue left on the farm and found that it depends on cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil, the prices of maize, whether extension officers visit the plot or not, household size, the level of education of the household head and alternative cost of soil conservation.<p>
    Keywords: conservation agriculture; soil carbon; climate change; bioeconomics; Kenya
    JEL: C61 Q18 Q24 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2010–02–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0431&r=res
  3. By: Frankel, Jeffrey (Harvard University)
    Abstract: It is striking how often countries with oil or other natural resource wealth have failed to grow more rapidly than those without. This is the phenomenon known as the Natural Resource Curse. The principle is not confined to individual anecdotes or case studies, but has been borne out in econometric tests of the determinants of economic performance across a comprehensive sample of countries. The paper considers six aspects of commodity wealth, each of interest in its own right, but each also a channel that some have suggested could lead to sub-standard economic performance. They are: long-term trends in world commodity prices, volatility, crowding out of manufacturing, civil war, poor institutions, and the Dutch Disease. The paper concludes with a consideration of promising ideas for institutions that could help a country that is rich in, say, oil overcome the pitfalls of the Curse and achieve good economic performance. They include indexation of oil contracts, hedging of export proceeds, denomination of debt in terms of oil, Chile-style fiscal rules, a monetary target that emphasizes product prices, transparent commodity funds, and lump-sum distribution.
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp10-005&r=res

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