nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Local air pollution and global climate change taxes: a distributional analysis By Xaquín Garcia-Muros; Mercedes Burguillo; Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino; Desiderio Romero-Jordán
  2. Unilateral climate policies and green paradoxes: Extraction costs matter By Gilbert Kollenbach
  3. Do Green Innovations stimulate Employment? – Firm-level Evidence From Germany By Georg Licht; Bettina Peters
  4. A resource pool for environmental innovation By Rasi Kunapatarawong; Ester Martinez Ros
  5. Research or Carbon Capture and Storage – How to limit climate change? By Gilbert Kollenbach
  6. Ecosystem Services and Environmental Governance: Comparing China and the U.S. By Robert Costanza; Shuang Liu
  7. Big-Box Retailers and Urban Carbon Emissions: The Case of Wal-Mart By Matthew E. Kahn; Nils Kok

  1. By: Xaquín Garcia-Muros; Mercedes Burguillo; Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino; Desiderio Romero-Jordán
    Abstract: Local air pollution and global climate change are two significant environmental problems which are interrelated. Some recent papers examine them together, but most of the relevant literature has focused either on climate change alone or on the ancillary benefits of mitigating it (in terms of air pollution). In regard to distribution, most publications have focused on the impacts of climate change-related taxes such as excise duties on CO2, energy or fuels. This paper explores the distributional implications of policies for taxing local air pollution and compares them with climate change taxes. The framework of taxation on air pollution is based on the estimated damage associated with the main local air pollutants, while the climate change framework is based on a CO2 tax. The case of Spain is examined, using an Input-Output model in combination with a micro-simulation model. The distributional implications of a revenue-neutral tax reform are also explored. We find that taxes on local pollutants are more regressive than those levied on climate change pollutants, because the goods implicitly taxed have a greater weight in the consumer basket of low income groups, even if the tax revenues are recycled.
    Keywords: Environmental Tax Reform; Distributional Impact; Local air pollution taxes; global climate change taxes
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Gilbert Kollenbach
    Abstract: Under which conditions unilateral tightening of climate policy causes a weak or strong green paradox or even decreases social welfare has recently been studied by Hoel (2011). Hoel assumes that the costs of extracting fossil fuel are linear in output. We extend his model by allowing for progressively increasing and stock dependent extraction costs. Increasing unit costs imply the simultaneous utilization of fossil fuel and a clean backstop. This has a signicant effect on the results, as the utilization of backstop by the country which tightens its climate policy always prevents a weak green paradox. As a consequence, the effect of a tighter climate policy on social welfare can be reversed. Due to the stock dependence of extraction costs the amount of fossil fuel left in situ may be increased by a tighter climate policy. This implies that social welfare may increase, even if a weak green paradox occurs.
    Keywords: Climate change, green paradox, exhaustible resources, renewable energy
    JEL: Q41 Q42 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Georg Licht; Bettina Peters
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of environmental innovation on employment growth in the period 2006-2008 using firm-level data for German manufacturing and services. It extends the model by Harrison et al (2008) in order to distinguish between employment effects of environmental and non-environmental product as well as process innovation. As a robustness check patent data on green technologies are employed. The results demonstrate that both environmental and non-environmental product innovations stimulate employment growth. We find a similar gross employment effect of both types of product innovations. That is, one-percent increases in sales stemming from new environmental and non-environmental products increase gross employment by one percent each. Thus, we do not find evidence that that new products with environmental benefits for consumers are produced with higher or lower efficiency than old products. Yet, the net employment contribution of non-green product innovations is 4 to 5 times larger than the net contribution of green product innovations. This is the result of differences in the average innovation engagement and innovation success of both types of new products. In contrast, environmental and non-environmental process innovation plays only a little role for employment growth. In particular, we do not identify a significant trade-off between more environmental-friendly production technologies and employment growth. This holds for both cleaner production technologies and end-of pipe technologies.
    Keywords: Employment growth, environmental innovation, green patents
    JEL: O33 J23 L80 C21 C23
    Date: 2014–02
  4. By: Rasi Kunapatarawong; Ester Martinez Ros
    Abstract: This paper reports research on the relationship between sourcing strategy of a firm and its environmental innovation propensity. The data is taken from the Spanish TechnologicalInnovation Panel (PITEC) survey during the period of 2007-2011. The uniqueness of the Spanish innovation structure and the increasing relevance of environmental issues for the Spanish economy make it a proper setting to investigate environmental innovation dynamics. The results from 5,352 firms indicate that large firms are more likely to undertake environmental innovation than small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs). These firms rely quite equally on all four sources of knowledge &- internal, market, institutional and freely-available sources &- when deciding to develop environmental innovation. The broad horizons with respect to knowledge sources are likely to increase firms' propensity to introduce environmental innovation. In addition, weprovide the evolutionary nature of firm's innovation search as firms grow in size. Small firmsrely on both internal and freely-available sources rather equally, while internal source is the most relevant for medium firms, and market is the most important source used by large firms indriving environmental innovation. Particularly important is how firms who are already innovators and who receive local funding from the Spanish government are more likely to introduce environmental innovation.
    Keywords: Environmental innovation , Knowledge sourcing , Discrete choice model
    Date: 2014–02
  5. By: Gilbert Kollenbach
    Abstract: The consequences of the 2°C climate target and the implicitly imposed ceiling on CO2 have been analyzed in several studies. We use an endogenous growth model with a ceiling and a carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to study the effect of the ceiling on the allocation of limited funds for R&D, CCS and capital accumulation. It turns out that the advantagenousness of CCS investments rise with the CO2 stock. If the gains of CCS, in terms of lower energy costs, outweigh the gains of R&D and capital accumulation, investments are reallocated towards CCS. On the one hand, this reduces the investments into R&D and/or capital. On the other hand, lower energy costs may increase research and/or capital investments. Positive CCS investments allow a higher extraction of fossil fuel, which implies lower backstop utilization. Consequently, CCS investments lower the advantageousness of R&D ceteris paribus. Furthermore, we show that the gains of CCS can be high enough to justify an investment reallocation even before the ceiling is binding, which contrast with existing literature.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Research and Development, Carbon Capture and Storage, Endogenous Growth, Fossil Fuel, Renewable Resource
    JEL: O13 O44 Q54
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Robert Costanza; Shuang Liu
    Abstract: The concept of ecosystem services (the benefits people derive from functioning ecosystems) is beginning to change the way we view the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. To the extent that we view humanity as embedded in and interdependent with the rest of nature, rather than viewing nature as separate from people or even as an adversary, our whole approach to environmental research, governance and management changes. These ongoing changes are discussed with reference to the evolving situations in China and the United States. The most significant effects on governance are the needs to shift to a more transparent and participatory approach and a broader recognition of the public goods/common property characteristics of ecosystems and their services. The main questions are: (i) to what extent do prevailing governance arrangements in China and the United States facilitate and/or hinder efforts to effectively manage ecosystem services?; and (ii) are there adjustments that are both politically feasible and likely to make a difference in these terms? We conclude that while China and the United States represent two almost polar opposite starting points, especially as concerns property rights, there is significant convergence, and the concept of ecosystem services can help accelerate this positive trend.
    Keywords: ecosystem services; governance; China
  7. By: Matthew E. Kahn; Nils Kok
    Abstract: The commercial real estate sector is responsible for a large share of a city’s overall carbon footprint. An ongoing trend in this sector has been the entry of big-box stores such as Wal-Mart. Using a unique monthly panel data set for every Wal-Mart store in California from 2006 through 2011, we document three main findings about the environmental performance of big-box retailers. First, Wal-Mart’s stores exhibit very little store-to-store variation in electricity consumption relative to a control group of similar size and vintage retail stores. Second, Wal-Mart’s store’s electricity consumption is lower in higher priced utilities and is independent of the store’s ownership versus leased status. Third, unlike other commercial businesses, Wal-Mart’s newer buildings consume less electricity. Together, these results highlight the key roles that corporate size and centralization of management play in determining a key indicator of a firm’s overall environmental performance.
    JEL: Q41 Q54
    Date: 2014–02

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