nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Trade in a 'Green Growth' Development Strategy: Issues and Challenges By de Melo, Jaime
  2. Environmental Policy and Directed Technical Change in a Global Economy: The Dynamic Impact of Unilateral Environmental Policies By Hemous, David
  3. Sustainable and smart cities By Kahn, Matthew E.
  4. Modeling the Emissions-Income Relationship Using Long-Run Growth Rates By Zeba Anjum; Paul J. Burke; Reyer Gerlagh; David I. Stern
  5. Keep Your Clunker in the Suburb: Low Emission Zones and Adoption of Green Vehicles By Wolff, Hendrik
  6. Overview -- the urban imperative : toward shared prosperity By Glaeser, Edward; Joshi-Ghani, Abha

  1. By: de Melo, Jaime
    Abstract: This paper discusses the state of knowledge about the trade-related environmental consequences of a country’s development strategy along three channels: (i) direct trade-environment linkages (overexploitation of natural resources and trade-related transport costs);(ii) ‘virtual trade’ in emissions resulting from production activities; (iii) the product mix attributes of a ‘green-growth’ strategy (environmentally preferable products and goods for environmental management). Main conclusions are the following. Trade exacerbates over-exploitation of natural resources in weak institutional environments, but there is little evidence that differences in environmental policies across countries has led to significant ‘pollution havens’. Trade policies to ‘level the playing field’ would be ineffective and result in destructive conflicts in the WTO. Lack of progress at the Doha round suggests the need to modify the current system of global policy making.
    Keywords: Environmental goods; green growth; natural resources; trade and climate
    JEL: F18 Q56
    Date: 2013–09
  2. By: Hemous, David
    Abstract: This paper builds a two-country (North, South), two-sector (polluting, nonpolluting) trade model with directed technical change, examining whether unilateral environmental policies can ensure sustainable growth. The polluting good is produced with a clean and a dirty input. I show that a temporary Northern policy combining clean research subsidies and a trade tax can ensure sustainable growth but Northern carbon taxes alone cannot. Trade and directed technical change accelerate environmental degradation either under laissez-faire or if the North implements carbon taxes, yet both help reduce environmental degradation under the appropriate unilateral policy. I characterize the optimal unilateral policy analytically and numerically using calibrated simulations.
    Keywords: climate change; directed technical change; environment; innovation; trade; unilateral policy
    JEL: F18 F42 F43 O32 O33 O41 Q54 Q55
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Kahn, Matthew E.
    Abstract: This paper explores the challenges and opportunities that government officials face in designing coherent'rules of the game'for achieving urban sustainability during times of growth. Sustainability is judged by three criteria. The first involves elements of day-to-day quality of life, such as having clean air and water and green space. The provision of these public goods has direct effects on the urban public's health and productivity. The second focuses on the city's greenhouse gas emissions. Developing cities are investing in new infrastructure, from highways and public transit systems to electricity generation and transmission. They are building water treatment, water delivery, and sewage disposal systems. Residents of these cities are simultaneously making key decisions about where they live and work and whether to buy such energy-consuming durables as private vehicles and home air-conditioning units. Given the long-lived durability of the capital stock, short-term decisions will have long-term effects on the city's carbon footprint. The third criterion is a city's resilience to natural disasters and extreme weather events. This subsection focuses on how the urban poor can be better equipped to adapt to the anticipated challenges of climate change.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Energy Production and Transportation,Climate Change Economics,Population Policies
    Date: 2014–05–01
  4. By: Zeba Anjum (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University); Paul J. Burke; Reyer Gerlagh; David I. Stern
    Abstract: We adopt a new representation of the relationship between emissions and income using long-run growth rates. Our approach allows us to test multiple hypotheses about the drivers of per capita emissions in a single framework and avoid several of the econometric issues that have plagued previous studies. We find that for carbon dioxide emissions, scale, convergence, and resource endowment effects are statistically significant. For sulfur emissions, the scale and convergence effects are significant, there is a strong negative time effect, and non-English legal origin and higher population density are associated with more rapidly declining emissions. The environmental Kuznets effect is not statistically significant in our full sample for either carbon or sulfur.
    Keywords: Economic growth, decoupling, pollution, environmental Kuznets curve, convergence
    JEL: Q56 O44
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Wolff, Hendrik (University of Washington)
    Abstract: Spatial distribution and leakage effects are of great policy concern and increasingly discussed in the economics literature. Here we study Europe's most aggressive recent air pollution regulation: Low Emission Zones are areas in which vehicular access is allowed only to vehicles that emit low levels of air pollutants. Using new administrative datasets from Germany, we assess the distribution of air pollution and the spatial substitution effects in green versus dirty vehicles. We find that LEZs decrease air pollution by around nine percent in urban traffic centers while pollution is unchanged in non-traffic areas. These results are driven by our finding that vehicle owners have an incentive to adopt cleaner technologies the closer they live to an LEZ. We reject the widespread concern that dirty vehicles contribute to higher pollution levels by increasingly driving longer routes outside of the LEZ. Back of the envelope calculations suggest that the health benefits of roughly two billion dollars have come at a cost of just over 1 billion dollars for upgrading the fleet of vehicles. Moreover, we find that non-attainment cities that decided not to include an LEZ but engaged in other methods (building ring roads, enhancing public transportation), experience no decrease in pollution.
    Keywords: low emission zones, air pollution, PM10
    JEL: Q58 R48
    Date: 2014–05
  6. By: Glaeser, Edward; Joshi-Ghani, Abha
    Abstract: Urbanization is undoubtedly a key driver of development -- cities provide the national platform for prosperity, job creation, and poverty reduction. But urbanization also poses enormous challenges that one is familiar with: congestion, air pollution, social divisions, crime, the breakdown of public services and infrastructure, and the slums that one billion urban resident's call home. Urbanization is perhaps the single most important question in development today. It is clear that cities have not performed as well as can be expected in their transformative role for more livable, inclusive, people-centered, and sustainable development. But they have enormous potential as growth escalators, offering the opportunity to lift millions out of poverty, and serve as centers of knowledge, innovations, and entrepreneurship. Cities in both the developed and developing world want to attract more entrepreneurs and create more jobs. Cities also need to be resilient to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. If these are left unaddressed, cities will become part of the problem rather than the solution.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Environmental Economics&Policies,Urban Slums Upgrading,Urban Services to the Poor,National Urban Development Policies&Strategies
    Date: 2014–05–01

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