nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
five papers chosen by

  1. Happiness in the air: How does dirty sky affect subjective well-being?: By Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Xiaobo; Chen, Xi
  2. Pro-Environmental Households and Energy Efficiency in Spain By Ana Ramos; Xavier Labandeira; Andreas Lšschel
  3. Transport and Low-carbon. Fuel: A study of Public Preferences in Spain By María L. Loureiro; Xavier Labandeira; Michael Hanemann
  4. The Cultural Transmission of Environmental Preferences: Evidence from International Migration By Anastasia Litina; Simone Moriconi; Skerdilajda Zanaj
  5. The Role of Information for Energy Efficiency in the Residential Sector By Ana Ramos; Alberto Gago; Xavier Labandeira; Pedro Linares

  1. By: Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Xiaobo; Chen, Xi
    Abstract: Existing studies that evaluate the impact of pollution on human beings understate its negative effect on cognition, mental health, and happiness. This paper attempts to fill in the gap via investigating the impact of air quality on subjective well-being using China as an example. By matching a unique longitudinal dataset at the individual level, which includes self-reported happiness and mental well-being measures, with contemporaneous local air quality and weather information according to the exact date and place of interview, we show that worse air quality reduces shorter-term hedonic happiness and increases the rate of depressive symptoms. However, life satisfaction, an evaluative measure of happiness, is largely immune from immediate bad air quality.
    Keywords: air pollution, welfare, psychology, hedonic happiness, life satisfaction, mental well-being, air quality,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Ana Ramos (Rede (Universidade de Vigo)); Xavier Labandeira (Rede (Universidade de Vigo) and European University Institute); Andreas Lšschel (WestfŠlische Wilhelms-University MŸnster and Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))
    Abstract: The residential building sector is a major driver of current and future energy consumption and associated emissions, which can be potentially mitigated through significant energy-efficiency (EE) improvements in both emerging and developed countries. Yet, there are several persistent barriers that hinder the attainment of EE improvements in this area. Using data from a 2008 national representative survey of Spanish households, this paper is interested in the determinants of EErelated decisions. In particular, a discrete-choice model empirically analyzes whether pro-environmental households are more likely to invest in EE and to adopt daily energy-saving habits. We show that households with eco-friendly behaviors are more likely to investment in well-differentiated EE measures as well as to steer daily habits towards energy savings. However, no effects are found for households with environmental attitudes based on stated willingness to pay to protect the environment. In addition to this, households belonging to higher income groups and education levels are more likely to invest in EE but not to adopt energy-saving habits; while households with older members are less likely to invest in EE and show fewer eco-friendly habits.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency, investment, behavior, habits
    JEL: Q41 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: María L. Loureiro (Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis, University of Santiago de Compostela); Xavier Labandeira (Rede (Universidade de Vigo) and Economics for Energy); Michael Hanemann (Arizona State University and University of California at Berkeley)
    Abstract: Transport is essential for the control of future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus a target for active policy intervention in the future. Yet, social preferences for policies are likely to play an important role. In this paper we first review the existing literature on preferences regarding low- GHG car fuels, but also covering policy instruments and strategies in this area. We then present the results of a survey of Spanish households aimed at measuring preferences for climate change policies. We find a positive WTP (in the form of higher car fuel prices) for a policy to reduce GHG emissions through biofuels. There is, however, significant heterogeneity in public preferences due to personal motivations (accounted for via factor analysis of responses to attitudinal questions) and to socio-demographicvariables.
    Keywords: biofuels, WTP, contingent valuation
    JEL: Q54 Q58 R48
  4. By: Anastasia Litina; Simone Moriconi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Skerdilajda Zanaj
    Abstract: This paper investigates both theoretically and empirically the hypothesis that individual environmental attitudes can be partly accounted for by a cultural component. To empirically identify this component, we exploit variation associated with international migration ows. We find that the environmental attitudes of migrants, while being resilient to environmental conditions, also embed a cultural component, which persists till the second generation migrants. Our results suggest that, in the presence of multiple environmental problems that require collective action, comprehending the driving forces behind the formation of an environmental culture is critical to design effective policies.
    Keywords: Cultural Transmission, Migration, Environmental Preferences.
    JEL: Q50 Q58 R23
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Ana Ramos (Rede (Universidade de Vigo)); Alberto Gago (Rede (Universidade de Vigo)); Xavier Labandeira (Rede (Universidade de Vigo) and European University Institute); Pedro Linares (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)
    Abstract: In spite of the large potential and existing efforts to foster energy efficiency in the residential sector, much remains to be achieved. This may be partially due to the many barriers and market failures faced by energy efficiency, which are even greater in the residential sector. In particular, informational failures seem to be pervasive and relevant in this area. Addressing these issues requires specific policy instruments and strategies. This paper reviews the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of such instruments, focusing on energy certificates, feedback programs, and energy audits. Results show that energy certificates and feedback programs can be effective, but only if they are carefully designed. Yet energy audits seem to have little effect on efficiency. In addition, the paper points out the large potential for new instruments as well as combinations of existing ones.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency, information, behavior.
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2014–02

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.