nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2012‒05‒02
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. How “Green” are Today's 15-Year-Olds? By OECD
  2. Natural Resources, the Terms of Trade, and Real Income Growth in Canada: 1870 to 2010 By Baldwin, John R.<br/> Macdonald, Ryan
  3. An Economic Assessment of Biogas Production and Land Use under the German Renewable Energy Source Act By Ruth Delzeit , Wolfgang Britz
  4. Adaptive Model-Predictive Climate Policies in a Multi-Country Setting. By Thierry Bréchet; Carmen Camacho; Vladimir M. Veliov
  5. Natural Resource Curse and Poverty in Appalachian America By Partridge, Mark; Betz, Mike; Lobao, Linda

  1. By: OECD
    Abstract: Today's students are growing up in a precarious natural environment. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity threaten the ecosystems that support life; a lack of clean water and sanitation imperils the health of hundreds of millions of people every day. While trained geoscientists, biologists and environmental scientists lead the way in shaping policies to reduce the impact of human activity on the global environment -and to have more equitable access to natural resources for all - informed citizens play an important role, too. Since individual actions have an impact on the environment, understanding scientific theories and being able to evaluate evidence can help people to make informed decisions about such daily choices as whether or not to leave the television on standby, what temperature to set the heat, and what kind of car to buy (or not). Learning about the environment early in a student's schooling can help to shape the way that person will interact with the environment as an adult.
    Date: 2012–04
  2. By: Baldwin, John R.<br/> Macdonald, Ryan
    Abstract: This paper studies the growth of the Canadian resource economy and the contribution of trading gains arising from increasing terms of trade to real income growth from 1870 to 2010. It combines a historical account of the growth of a succession of natural resources--examining both the production and price history of agriculture, forestry, mining, and oil and gas--with an overview of the impact of these developments on Canadian well-being. It uses estimates of the difference between real income and real output growth, based on measurement theory from the System of National Accounts, to measure trading gains that arose from increasing terms of trade over the period.
    Keywords: International trade, Economic accounts,
    Date: 2012–04–23
  3. By: Ruth Delzeit , Wolfgang Britz
    Abstract: Abstract: The Renewable Energy Source Act (EEG) promotes German biogas production in order to substitute fossil fuels, protect the environment, and prevent climate change. As a consequence, green maize production has increased significantly over the last years, causing negative environmental effects on soil, water and biodiversity. In this paper we quantitatively analyse the EEG-reform in 2012 by applying the simulation tool ReSI-M (Regionalised Location Information System – Maize). Comparing the EEG 2012 with a former version of the legislation, results imply that the reform contributes to an expansion of biogas electricity generation compared to former versions, and thus to substitution of fossil fuels. Furthermore, given a restriction in the share of green maize input, its production is reduced and the crop-mix is diversified. However, since maize provides the highest energy output per area, total land requirement for biogas production increases. An alternative analysis shows that an EEG with tariffs independent from plant-types would provide the highest subsidy-efficiency, but slightly lower land efficiency compared to the EEG 2012
    Keywords: bioenergy, biogas, land use, policy analysis, simulation model
    JEL: C61 Q16 Q42
    Date: 2012–04
  4. By: Thierry Bréchet (CORE et Louvain School of Management); Carmen Camacho (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Vladimir M. Veliov (ORCOS - Institute of Mathematical Methods in Economics)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to extend the use of integrated assessment models by defining rational policies based on predictive control and adaptive behavior. The paper begins with an review of the main IAMs and their use. Then the concept of Model Predictive Nash Equilibrium (MPNE) is introduced within a general model involving heterogeneous economic agents operating in (and interfering with) a common environment. This concept captures the fact that agents do not have a perfect foresight for several ingredients of the model, including that of the environment. A version of the canonical IAM (DICE) is developed as a benchmark case. The concept of MPNE is then enhanced with adaptive learning about the environmental dynamics and the damages caused by global warming. The approach is illustrated by some numerical experiments in a two-region setting for several scenarios.
    Keywords: Integrated assessment, adaptive behavior, learning, climate change.
    JEL: C61 O13 E61
    Date: 2012–04
  5. By: Partridge, Mark; Betz, Mike; Lobao, Linda
    Abstract: The Appalachian mountain region has long been characterized by deep poverty which led to the formation of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in 1965. The ARC region covers West Virginia and parts of 12 other states, running from New York to Mississippi (Ziliak 2012). The ARC region had an average county poverty rate of over 40 percent in 1960, about double the national average (Deaton and Niman 2012; Ziliak 2012). While the poverty gap between the ARC region and the rest of the nation closed significantly by 1990, it remained nearly twice as large in Central Appalachia. There are many reasons for higher poverty in Appalachia in general and Central Appalachia in particular. Possible causes include a low-paying industry structure, below average education, low household mobility, and remoteness from to cities (Weber et al. 2005; Partridge and Rickman 2005; Lobao 2004). A key distinction between Central Appalachia and the rest of the ARC region is its historic dependence on coal mining. There is long literature arguing that the area’s dependence on coal mining has contributed to its deep poverty through weaker local governance, entrepreneurship, and educational attainment, as well as degrading the environment, poor health outcomes, and limitations on other economic opportunities (Deaton and Niman 2012; James and Aadland 2011). These factors are broadly associated with the natural resources curse in the international development literature. More recently, the process of mountain top mining (MTM) has expanded coal mining’s environmental footprint in the region, possibly increasing health risks and further reducing the chances for long-term amenity-led growth that can alleviate poverty (Deller 2010; Woods and Gordon 2011). This study reinvestigates the causes of county poverty rates in Appalachia with a special focus on coal mining’s role. Using data over the 1990-2010 period we assess whether coal mining continues to have a positive association with poverty rates, even as the industry’s relative size has declined. We also appraise whether MTM is associated with higher poverty. We do this by comparing the ARC region to the rest of the U.S. and by using more disaggregated employment data that allows us to differentiate the effects of coal mining from other mining (versus aggregating all mining together as in past research). The results suggest that any potential adverse effects of coal mining on poverty have declined over time. Below, we first develop an empirical model followed by the empirical results. The final section provides our concluding thoughts.
    Keywords: natural resource curse; poverty; Appalachia
    JEL: O18 O13 I32
    Date: 2012

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