nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2010‒06‒18
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Environmental Standards under International Oligopoly By Ishikawa, Jota; Okubo, Toshihiro
  2. Behavioral Response to Plastic Bag Legislation in Botswana By Dikgang, Johane; Visser, Martine
  3. Paying for Mitigation: A Multiple Country Study By Carlsson, Fredrik; Kataria, Mitesh; Krupnick, Alan; Lampi, Elina; Lofgren, Asa; Qin, Ping; Chung, Susie; Sterner, Thomas
  4. Estimation of the Water Quality Amelioration Value of Wetlands: A Study of the Western Cape, South Africa By Turpie, Jane; Day, Elizabeth; Ross-Gillespie, Vere; Louw, Anton
  5. The Evidence Base for Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts of “Sustainable” Certification By Blackman, Allen; Rivera, Jorge
  6. Climate Change, Total Factor Productivity, and the Tanzanian Economy: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis By Bezabih, Mintewab; Chambwera, Muyeye; Stage, Jesper

  1. By: Ishikawa, Jota; Okubo, Toshihiro
    Abstract: We explore the effects of domestic environmental standards when a domestic firm and a foreign rival compete in the domestic market. We focus on a situation where the introduction of environmental standards forces the foreign product out of the domestic market because it does not meet the standards. Such prohibitive standards may induce the foreign firm to produce an environmentally friendly good through R&D or licensing obtained from the domestic firm. However, this does not guarantee that the product, which now complies with the environmental standards, will improve the environment. In the case of licensing, governments may intervene to shift the rent from the domestic firm. In certain circumstances, the shifted rent could exceed the amount paid by the foreign firm for licensing.
    Keywords: environmental standards, international oligopoly, R&D, licensing, rent-shifting
    JEL: F13 F18
    Date: 2010–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hit:ccesdp:32&r=res
  2. By: Dikgang, Johane; Visser, Martine
    Abstract: This paper investigates the use of charges and standards in dealing with a common externality, plastic litter from shopping bags in Botswana. The country passed a plastic bag tax (effective 2007) to curb the plastic bag demand. Interestingly, the legislation did not force retailers to charge for plastic bags, which they did voluntarily at different prices. We assessed the environmental effectiveness and efficiency of the plastic bag legislation by analyzing consumers’ sensitivity to the improvement of the plastic bag and related price charges. The introduction of the plastic bag levy led to a significant decline in the consumption of plastic bags per 1,000 Botswana pulas of shopping. The partial success of the Botswana levy was due to the constantly high prices of the bags.
    Keywords: demand, environment, litter, plastic bags, price
    JEL: Q53 Q58
    Date: 2010–05–25
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-13-efd&r=res
  3. By: Carlsson, Fredrik; Kataria, Mitesh; Krupnick, Alan (Resources for the Future); Lampi, Elina; Lofgren, Asa; Qin, Ping; Chung, Susie; Sterner, Thomas
    Abstract: Unique survey data from a contingent valuation study conducted in three different countries (China, Sweden, and the United States) were used to investigate the ordinary citizen’s willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing CO2 emissions. We found that a large majority of the respondents in all three countries believe that the mean global temperature has increased over the last 100 years and that humans are responsible for the increase. A smaller share of Americans, however, believes these statements, when compared to the Chinese and Swedes. A larger share of Americans is also pessimistic and believes that nothing can be done to stop climate change. We also found that Sweden has the highest WTP for reductions of CO2, while China has the lowest. Thus, even though the Swedes and Chinese are similar to each other in their attitudes toward climate change, they differ considerably in their WTP. When WTP is measured as a share of household income, the willingness to pay is the same for Americans and Chinese, while again higher for the Swedes.
    Keywords: climate change, willingness to pay, multi-country, China, United States, Sweden
    JEL: Q51 Q54
    Date: 2010–05–25
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-12-efd&r=res
  4. By: Turpie, Jane; Day, Elizabeth; Ross-Gillespie, Vere; Louw, Anton
    Abstract: Wetlands are commonly understood to have the capacity to reduce the loads of excess nutrients, pathogens, sediments, and other contaminants generated by various activities in their catchment areas. However, quantifying these “services” is difficult and most research in this field has concentrated on artificial treatment wetlands. Understanding the value of their water treatment characteristics, as well as the other services they provide, is increasingly recognized as essential to achieving a balance between conservation and activities that degrade or replace wetlands. The aim of this study is to estimate the water treatment capacity of wetlands on a landscape scale in the South Western Cape of South Africa and estimate the economic value of the service performed. We collected samples at the outflow points of 100 subcatchment areas and measured the loads of nitrogen, dissolved phosphorus, and suspended solids, which were analyzed with respect to detailed spatial data on land cover and wetlands area. Wetlands play a significant role in the reduction of nitrates, nitrites, and ammonium, but not dissolved phosphorus or suspended solids. Estimated removal rates range from 307 to 9,505 kg N per ha-1 year-1, with an average of 1,594 ± 1,375 kg N per ha-1 year-1. Data from a number of water treatment works suggest that the cost of removal of ammonium nitrogen is in the order of ZAR 26 per kilogram. Applied to the wetlands in the study area—assuming wetlands do play a role in total phosphorus removal—this suggests that the average value of the water treatment service provided by wetlands in the study area is about ZAR 14,350 ± 12,385 ha-1 year-1. These values are high enough to compete with the alternative land uses that threaten their existence. The results suggest that wetlands should be given considerably more attention in land-use planning and regulation.
    Keywords: ecosystem services, wetlands, economic valuation, water treatment
    JEL: Q57
    Date: 2010–06–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-15-efd&r=res
  5. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Rivera, Jorge
    Abstract: Initiatives certifying that farms and firms adhere to predefined environmental and social welfare production standards are increasingly popular. According to proponents, they create financial incentives for farms and firms to improve their environmental and socioeconomic performance. This paper reviews the evidence on whether sustainable certification of agricultural commodities and tourism operations actually has such benefits. It identifies empirical ex post farm-level studies of certification, classifies them on the basis of whether they use methods likely to generate credible results, summarizes their findings, and considers the implications for future research. We conclude that empirical evidence that sustainable certification has significant benefits is limited. We identify just 37 relevant studies, only 14 of which use methods likely to generate credible results. Of these 14 studies, only 6 find that certification has environmental or socioeconomic benefits. This evidence can be expanded by incorporating rigorous, independent evaluation into the design and implementation of projects promoting sustainable certification.
    Keywords: sustainable, certification, eco-label, literature review
    JEL: Q2 Q56
    Date: 2010–03–26
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-10-efd&r=res
  6. By: Bezabih, Mintewab; Chambwera, Muyeye; Stage, Jesper
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the economic impacts of climate change-induced adjustments on the performance of the Tanzanian economy, using a countrywide CGE (computable general equilibrium) model. The general equilibrium framework enables comparison of the effects of climate change to the overall growth of the economy because responsiveness to shocks is likely to depend on the macroeconomic structure of the economy. Effect of overall climate change on agricultural productivity is projected to be relatively limited until approximately 2030 and become worse thereafter. Our simulation results indicate that, despite the projected reduction in agricultural productivity, the negative impacts can potentially be quite limited. This is because the time scales involved and the low starting point of the economy leave ample time for factor substitutability (i.e., replacing reduced land productivity with increased use of capital and labor) and increased overall productivity. This indicates that policies that give farmers opportunity to invest in autonomous climate adaptation, as well as policies that improve the overall performance of the economy, can be as important for reducing the impacts of climate change in the economy as direct government policies for climate adaptation. The study results can inform policymakers when choosing between direct climate-change adaptation policies or measures aimed at strengthening the fundamentals of the economy, as ways of insulating against external shocks.
    Keywords: climate change, agriculture, total factor productivity, Tanzania, CGE model
    JEL: Q18 C02
    Date: 2010–06–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-14-efd&r=res

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