nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒08
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Greening Africa? Technologies, endowments and the latecomer effect By Paul Collier; Anthony J. Venables
  2. Improving environmental decisions: a transaction-costs story By Pannell, David J.; Roberts, Anna M.; Park, Geoff; Alexander, Jennifer
  3. Non-Tradeable Pollution Permits as Green R&D Incentives By Mehdi Fadaee; Luca Lambertini
  4. International emissions trading in a noncooperative climate policy game By Bjart Holtsmark og Dag Einar Sommervoll
  5. Why we can't confirm the pollution haven hypothesis: A model of carbon leakage with agglomeration By John Feddersen
  6. Is Japanese agriculture improving its eco-efficiency? –An application of the System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA)– By Hayashi, Takashi; Yamamoto, Mitasu
  7. Water Footprint in Milk Chains in the Central Subhumid and Semiarid Region of Argentina By Manazza, Jorge F.; Iglesias, Daniel H.
  8. The future of the Nuclear industry reconsidered : risks, uncertainties, and continued potential By Kessides, Ioannis N.
  9. Has Surface Water Quality Improved Since the Clean Water Act? By V. Kerry Smith; Carlos Valcarcel Wolloh

  1. By: Paul Collier; Anthony J. Venables
    Abstract: Africa is well endowed with potential for hydro and solar power, but its other endowments – shortages of capital, skills, and governance capacity – make most of the green options relatively expensive, while its abundance of hydro-carbons makes fossil fuels relatively cheap. Current power shortages make expansion of power capacity a priority. Africa’s endowments, and the consequent scarcities and relative prices, are not immutable and can be changed to bring opportunity costs in Africa closer to those in the rest of the world. The international community can support by increasing Africa’s supply of the scarce factors of capital, skills, and governance.
    Keywords: Africa, climate change, energy, renewable, leapfrog, latecomer
    JEL: Q54 Q5 Q40 O55
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Pannell, David J.; Roberts, Anna M.; Park, Geoff; Alexander, Jennifer
    Abstract: A multidisciplinary team of researchers made efforts to influence the design and implementation of environmental policy in Australia. A focus of these efforts was the development of the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER). In addition, the team undertook a diversity of communication activities, training, user support, and participation in committees and enquiries. Transaction costs were relevant to these efforts in a variety of ways. Environmental managers who adopted some elements of INFFER incurred higher transaction costs than they did using traditional, simpler methods for planning and prioritising. The benefits that could be generated by bearing specific transaction costs were carefully considered, and a balance was struck between the system having simplicity (and low transaction costs) and delivering valuable environmental outcomes in the long term. Transaction costs were factored into the planning and prioritisation processed developed for INFFER. For example, public and private transaction costs are accounted for in the calculation of the Benefit: Cost Ratio for each project, and in the analysis of which type of policy mechanisms would be most suitable. The researchers’ experiences highlight the importance of transaction costs and the diverse roles that they play in the processes of developing, implementing and influencing environmental policy programs.
    Keywords: transaction costs, policy mechanism choice, benefit: costs analysis, prioritisation, planning, Environmental Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, Q50, Q57, Q58, D23,
    Date: 2012–06–18
  3. By: Mehdi Fadaee (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy); Luca Lambertini (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy; ENCORE, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)
    Abstract: Acquired wisdom has it that the allocation of pollution rights to firms hinders their willingness to undertake uncertain R&D projects for environmental-friendly technologies. We revisit this issue in a model where firms strategically choose whether to participate in a lottery to attain pollution permits, or instead invest in green R&D, to show that, somewhat counterintuitively, a desirable side effect of the pollution permit is in fact that of fostering environmental R&D in an admissible range of the model parameters.
    Keywords: environmental externalities, pollution rights, pollution-reducing innovation
    JEL: L13 O31 Q55
    Date: 2012–06
  4. By: Bjart Holtsmark og Dag Einar Sommervoll (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Using a non cooperative climate policy game applied in the literature, we find that an agreement with international emissions trading leads to increased emissions and reduced efficiency.
    Keywords: Climate change; international environmental agreements; emissions trading; non-cooperative game theory.
    JEL: C7 Q2 Q4
    Date: 2012–06
  5. By: John Feddersen
    Abstract: The literature on carbon leakage has not yet benefitted from many of the insights of the ‘New Economic Geography’ (NEG). Most studies assume both an absence of agglomeration forces and that factors do not move inter-regionally. This paper develops a 2-region NEG model with factor mobility to study the impact of regionally-differentiated environmental regulation on the location of polluting firms. There are three main results: (i) trade liberalisation can reduce firms’ incentives to relocate in response to a regulatory disadvantage; this arises because trade liberalisation increases the agglomeration forces attracting firms to a given location, and may explain why the pollution haven hypothesis (PHH), which is a common prediction of standard trade models of environmental regulation, has been so difficult to detect empirically; (ii) unilaterally tightening environmental regulation by one region may increase global pollution; and (iii) if industry is dispersed between regions, individual firms respond to higher (lower) relative domestic pollution taxes by polluting more (less).
    Keywords: Carbon leakage, Environmental regulation, International environmental agreements, International trade, Pollution haven
    JEL: F18 Q56
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Hayashi, Takashi; Yamamoto, Mitasu
    Abstract: The world is facing serious resource shortage and environmental problems. Eco-efficiency is more attention for sustainable development not only in manufacturing sector but also agricultural sector. This study investigates whether Japanese agriculture improves its eco-efficiency. To conduct the analysis, we, first, develop a System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) for agriculture and forestry, and then estimate the eco-efficiencies and Factor values (FVs) of the agricultural sector, using a case study in Japan. Eco/energy-efficiencies and FVs are estimated based on greenhouse gas emission, acidification, eutrophication, air pollution, and energy and water use in every five year from 1985 to 2005. The results shows that although the absolute amounts of environmental impact and resource use have declined, eco/resource-efficiencies have worsened and FVs are less than 1 throughout the estimation period. Further governmental support for farmers is required to achieve improved eco-efficiency.
    Keywords: Eco-efficiency, Factor value, System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA), Agriculture, Japan, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Manazza, Jorge F.; Iglesias, Daniel H.
    Abstract: The high agricultural process of the Argentine humid pampas forces the intensification and relocation of cattle and dairy systems into subhumid and semiarid region to keep their competitiveness. In consequence, there is an increasing water demand scenario in these fragile areas in relation with this productive transformation process. Water footprints of UHT milk and cheese agrifood chain in La Pampa and San Luis provinces have been assessed using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, including virtual water indicators. Milk chain of La Pampa presents high self-sufficiency water ratio and high primary production proportion in virtual water exports. Water footprint of San Luis milk chain is highly externalized with a low self-sufficiency water ratio.
    Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Milk Agrifood Chain, Virtual Water, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Industrial Organization, Land Economics/Use, Livestock Production/Industries, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Kessides, Ioannis N.
    Abstract: Skeptics point out, with some justification, that the nuclear industry's prospects were dimmed by escalating costs long before Fukushima. If history is any guide, one direct consequence of the calamity in Japan will be more stringent safety requirements and regulatory delays that will inevitably increase the costs of nuclear power and further undermine its economic viability. For nuclear power to play a major role in meeting the future global energy needs and mitigating the threat of climate change, the hazards of another Fukushima and the construction delays and costs escalation that have plagued the industry will have to be substantially reduced. One promising direction for nuclear development might be to downsize reactors from the gigawatt scale to less-complex smaller units that are more affordable. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are scalable nuclear power plant designs that promise to reduce investment risks through incremental capacity expansion; become more standardized and reduce costs through accelerated learning effects; and address concerns about catastrophic events, since they contain substantially smaller radioactive inventory. Given their lower capital requirements and small size, which makes them suitable for small electric grids, SMRs can more effectively address the energy needs of small developing countries.
    Keywords: Energy Production and Transportation,Water and Industry,Engineering,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Environment and Energy Efficiency
    Date: 2012–06–01
  9. By: V. Kerry Smith; Carlos Valcarcel Wolloh
    Abstract: On the fortieth anniversary of the Clean Water Act this paper reports the first quantitative assessment of the aggregate trends in water quality in the U.S. using a single standard over the years 1975 to 2011. The analysis suggests that fresh water lakes for the nation as a whole are about at the same quality levels as they were in 1975. In short, viewed in the aggregate, nothing has changed. An assessment of the factors influencing the aggregates also suggests that water quality appears to be affected by the business cycle. This result calls into question the simple descriptions of the change in environmental quality with economic growth that are associated with the Environmental Kuznets Curve.
    JEL: Q50 Q53
    Date: 2012–06

This nep-res issue is ©2012 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.