nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒02
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Environmental Outsourcing By Matthew A. Cole; Robert J.R. Elliott; Toshihiro Okubo
  2. Are compact cities environmentally friendly? By Carl GAIGNÉ; Stéphane Riou; Jacques-François THISSE
  3. Public Preferences for Climate Change Policies: Evidence from Spain By Michael Hanemann; Xavier Labandeira; María L. Loureiro

  1. By: Matthew A. Cole (Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, UK); Robert J.R. Elliott (Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, UK); Toshihiro Okubo (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of firms shifting stages of their production processes overseas. In this paper we investigate whether firms outsource the dirtier stages of production to minimise domestic environmental regulation costs – a process broadly consistent with the pollution haven hypothesis. We develop a theoretical model of environmental outsourcing that focuses on the roles played by firm size and productivity, transport costs and environmental regulations. We test the model's predictions using a firm-level data set for Japan and do find evidence of an 'environmental outsourcing' effect.
    Keywords: Environmental regulations, trade, outsourcing, outsourcing, firm-level.
    JEL: F18 L51 L60 Q56 R3
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Carl GAIGNÉ (INRA, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (France)); Stéphane Riou (UMR CNRS 5824 GATE Lyon-Saint-Etienne, Université de Saint-Etienne (France)); Jacques-François THISSE (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Université du Luxembourg, CEPR, and RIEB, Kobe University)
    Abstract: There is a large consensus among international institutions and national governments to favor urban-containment policies - the compact city - as a way to improve the ecological performance of the urban system. This approach overlooks a fundamental fact: what matters for the ecological outcome of cities is the mix between the level of population density and the global pattern of activities. As expected, when both the intercity and intraurban distributions of activities are given, a higher population density makes cities more environmentally friendly. However, once we account for the fact that cities may be either monocentric or polycentric as well as for the possible relocation of activities between cities, the relationship between population density and the ecological performance of cities appears to be much more involved. Indeed, because changes in population density affect land rents and wages, firms and workers are incited to relocate, thus leading to new commuting and shipping patterns. We show that policies favoring the decentralization of jobs may be more environmentally desirable.
    Keywords: greenhouse gas, commuting costs, transport costs, cities; urbancontainment policy
    JEL: D61 F12 Q54 Q58 R12
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Michael Hanemann; Xavier Labandeira; María L. Loureiro
    Abstract: Spain faces a complex situation regarding its climate change policies. Since 1990, Spain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased far beyond the Kyoto commitments. Moreover, Spain is likely to suffer significant adverse impacts from climate change. However, there has been little action to reduce GHG emissions, particularly in the area of energy prices. Although the Spanish public generally shows great concern about climate change, it has traditionally opposed price increases for energy. In this paper we offer an explanation of this paradox, and we provide a possible strategy for policy design. We find that Spanish households favor reducing GHG emissions from electricity production and would be willing to pay for this if it promotes new, greener technologies and if it eventually lowers the cost of those technologies in the future. This finding emerges from a contingent valuation survey which also provides a rich set of information on households’ attitudes regarding various policy options for reducing GHG gases.
    Date: 2011–03

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