nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2010‒09‒03
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Risk Preferences as Determinants of Soil Conservation Decisions in Ethiopia By Teklewold, Hailemariam; Köhlin, Gunnar
  2. Voluntary Environmental Regulation in Developing Countries: Mexico's Clean Industry Program By Blackman, Allen; Lahiri, Bidisha; Pizer, William A.; Planter, Marisol Rivera; Piña, Carlos Muñoz
  3. Urban Fuel Demand in Ethiopia: An Almost-Ideal Demand System Approach By Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; Oskam, Arie J.; Bayou, Demeke
  4. Three Key Elements of Post-2012 International Climate Policy Architecture By Olmstead, Sheila M.; Stavins, Robert N.
  5. Environmental Goods Collection and Children’s Schooling: Evidence from Kenya By Wagura Ndiritu, Simon; Nyangena, Wilfred
  6. Participation in Off-Farm Employment, Rainfall Patterns, and Rate of Time Preferences: The Case of Ethiopia By Bezabih, Mintewab; Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; GebreMedhin, Liyousew; Köhlin, Gunnar
  7. Urban Energy Transition and Technology Adoption: The Case of Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia By Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; Mekonnen, Alemu; Kassie, Menale; Köhlin, Gunnar

  1. By: Teklewold, Hailemariam; Köhlin, Gunnar
    Abstract: Soil degradation is one of the most serious environmental problems in the highlands of Ethiopia. The prevalence of traditional agricultural land use and the absence of appropriate resource management often result in the degradation of natural soil fertility. This has important implications for soil productivity, household food security, and poverty. Given the extreme vulnerability of farmers in this area, we hypothesized that farmers’ risk preferences might affect the sustainability of resource use. This study presents experimental results on the willingness of farmers to take risks and relates the subjective risk preferences to actual soil conservation decisions. The study looks at a random sample of 143 households with 597 farming plots. We found that a high degree of risk aversion significantly decreases the probability of adopting soil conservation. This implies that reducing farmers’ risk exposure could promote soil conservation practices and thus more sustainable natural resource management. This might be achieved by improving tenure security, promoting access to extension services and education, and developing off-farm activities that generate income.
    Keywords: adoption, Ethiopia, risk preference, soil conservation
    JEL: Q12 Q16 Q24 D81
    Date: 2010–08–23
  2. By: Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Lahiri, Bidisha; Pizer, William A. (Resources for the Future); Planter, Marisol Rivera; Piña, Carlos Muñoz
    Abstract: Because conventional command-and-control environmental regulation often performs poorly in developing countries, policymakers are increasingly experimenting with alternatives, including voluntary regulatory programs. Research in industrialized countries suggests that such programs are sometimes ineffective because they mainly attract relatively clean participants free-riding on unrelated pollution control investments. We use plant-level data on more than 100,000 facilities to analyze the Clean Industry Program, Mexico’s flagship voluntary regulatory initiative. We seek to identify the drivers of participation and to determine whether the program improves participants’ environmental performance. Using data from the program’s first decade, we find that plants recently fined by environmental regulators were more likely to participate, but that after graduating from the program, participants were not fined at a substantially lower rate than nonparticipants. These results suggest that although the Clean Industry Program attracted dirty plants under pressure from regulators, it did not have a large, lasting impact on their environmental performance.
    Keywords: voluntary environmental regulation, duration analysis, propensity score matching, Mexico
    JEL: Q56 Q58 O13 O54 C41
    Date: 2010–08–25
  3. By: Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; Oskam, Arie J.; Bayou, Demeke
    Abstract: This paper investigates the opportunities for reducing the pressure of urban centers on rural forest areas, using a dataset of 350 urban households in Tigrai in northern Ethiopia. We applied an almost-ideal demand system to fuels. Because the same fuels were not always used by households, the analysis started with a probit model of fuel use. The inverse Mills ratios derived from it were inserted into the estimation of the fuel demand system to obtain a full set of price and income elasticities. The results suggest that reducing the pressure of urban centers on local forests cannot be seen in isolation from broader development policies aimed at raising the level of education and income of the population. Higher income also stimulates the demand for fuel.
    Keywords: price elasticities, income elasticities, almost-ideal fuel demand system, reducing deforestation, Ethiopia
    JEL: O13 O18 Q23
    Date: 2010–08–23
  4. By: Olmstead, Sheila M. (Resources for the Future); Stavins, Robert N.
    Abstract: We describe three essential elements of an effective post-2012 international global climate policy architecture: a means to ensure that key industrialized and developing nations are involved in differentiated but meaningful ways; an emphasis on an extended time path of targets; and inclusion of flexible market-based policy instruments to keep costs down and facilitate international equity. This architecture is consistent with fundamental aspects of the science, economics, and politics of global climate change; addresses specific shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol; and builds upon the foundation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    Keywords: global climate change, global warming, policy architecture, Kyoto Protocol
    JEL: Q54 Q58 Q48 Q39
    Date: 2010–06–18
  5. By: Wagura Ndiritu, Simon; Nyangena, Wilfred
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical study of schooling attendance and collection of environmental resources using cross-sectional data from the Kiambu District of Kenya. Because the decision to collect environmental resources and attend school is jointly determined, we used a bivariate probit method to model the decisions. In addition, we corrected for the possible endogeneity of resource collection work in the school attendance equation by using instrumental variable probit estimation. One of the key findings is that being involved in resource collection reduces the likelihood of a child attending school. The result supports the hypothesis of a negative relationship between children working to collect resources and the likelihood that they will attend school. The results further show that a child’s mother’s involvement in resource collection increases school attendance. In addition, there is no school attendance discrimination against girls, but they are overburdened by resource collection work. The study recommends immediate policy interventions focusing on the provision of public amenities, such as water and fuelwood.
    Keywords: environmental goods collection, firewood, water, children, schooling, Kenya
    JEL: O13 O15
    Date: 2010–08–23
  6. By: Bezabih, Mintewab; Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; GebreMedhin, Liyousew; Köhlin, Gunnar
    Abstract: Devoting time to off-farm activities, while complementing agricultural incomes, may be constrained by labor availability and financial capacity. This paper assesses the importance of rainfall patterns, which condition the availability of agricultural labor, and financial constraints on off-farm employment decisions. Using panel data from Ethiopia, which include experimental rate-of-time preference measures, we found that these and rainfall are significant determinants off-farm employment. Rural development policies should take into account the financial capacity of households and the role of off-farm opportunities as safety nets in the face of weather uncertainty.
    Keywords: off-farm employment, rainfall variability, reduced availability of water, rate-of time-preferences, multinomial logit, Ethiopia
    JEL: Q13 D81 C35 C93
    Date: 2010–08–23
  7. By: Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; Mekonnen, Alemu; Kassie, Menale; Köhlin, Gunnar
    Abstract: Dependency of urban Ethiopian households on rural areas for about 85 percent of their fuel needs is a significant cause of deforestation and forest degradation, resulting in growing fuel scarcity and higher firewood prices. One response to reducing the pressure on rural lands is for urban households to switch fuel sources (from fuelwood to electricity, for example) to slow deforestation and forest degradation and reduce indoor air pollution. However, such an energy transition is conditioned on the adoption of appropriate cooking appliances or stove technologies by the majority of users. This paper investigates urban energy transition and technology adoption conditions using a dataset of 350 urban households in Tigrai, in northern Ethiopia. Results suggest that the transition to electricity is affected by households adopting the electric mitad cooking appliance, which in turn is influenced by the level of education and income, among other things.
    Keywords: urban energy transition, electric mitad cooking appliance, technology adoption, bivariate probit, Tigrai, Ethiopia
    JEL: Q4 Q41 Q48
    Date: 2010–08–23

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