nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. How a Minimum Carbon Price Commitment Might Help to Internalize the Global Warming Externality By Martin L. Weitzman
  2. Environmental Taxes and Rural-Urban Migration - A Study from China By Jing Cao
  3. Water Pollution and Environmental Performance in US Agriculture By Kabata, Tshepelayi
  4. Environmental Enforcement Under the Spotlight - A Study of Industrial Pollution Control in China By Liguo Lin
  5. The Effect of Registration Taxes on New Car Sales and Emissions: Evidence from Switzerland By Massimo Anna Alberini; Markus Bareit

  1. By: Martin L. Weitzman
    Abstract: It is difficult to resolve the global warming free-rider externality problem by negotiating many different quantity targets. By contrast, negotiating a single internationally-binding minimum carbon price (the proceeds from which are domestically retained) counters self-interest by incentivizing countries to internalize the externality. In this contribution I attempt to sketch out, mostly with verbal arguments, the sense in which each country's extra cost from a higher emissions price is counter-balanced by that country's extra benefit from inducing all other countries to simultaneously lower their emissions in response to the higher price. Some implications are discussed. While the paper could be centered on a more formal model, here the tone of the discussion resembles more that of an exploratory think piece directed to policymakers and the general public.
    JEL: F51 H41 Q54
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Jing Cao (Harvard China Project, Harvard University Center for the Environment and School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University, Beijing)
    Abstract: This study investigates the potential impact of two environmental tax regimes on the movement of rural people to China's cities. The study models the impact of a fuel tax and an output tax on the country's economy to get a full picture of how they would affect people's livelihoods and welfare, and how this would, in turn, affect rural-urban migration. The study sheds light on the implications of future environmental taxes and how they would affect urbanization and "rural-urban" migration in China. The study finds that both proposed taxes would discourage the flow of migrants from China's countryside to its cities. This would therefore exacerbate the current distortions in the country's labour market, where there is a surplus of rural labour. A comparison of the impact of the two taxes shows the fuel tax to be more efficient in terms of reducing pollution emissions and their associated environmental and health impacts. It also produces less distortion in the rural-urban migration process than the output tax. The study therefore recommends that this would be the preferable policy.
    Keywords: environmental taxation, rural-urban, China
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Kabata, Tshepelayi
    Abstract: This paper appraises the environmental performance of US agriculture with respect to water pollution from pesticides through a parametric approach. The performance of the 48 continental States is evaluated through a translog stochastic and hyperbolic distance function allowing an environmentally adjusted productivity index and its components technical and efficiency change from 1960-1996. Water pollution is captured by four indicators of risk developed by Ball et al. (2004) : i) risk to human health from exposure to pesticide leaching; ii) risk to human health from exposure to pesticide runoff; iii) risk to aquatic life from exposure to pesticide leaching and iv) risk to aquatic life from exposure to pesticide runoff. The resulting environmentally adjusted productivity growth is slower than the conventional one but still driven by technical progress. Further finding reveals that innovation in the sector is biased toward crop and livestock rather than pollution mitigation. Results also show a potential for crops and livestock expansion and a contraction in water pollution and inputs.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Liguo Lin (School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai)
    Keywords: taxation, China, pollution
    Date: 2016–04
  5. By: Massimo Anna Alberini (University of Maryland,USA); Markus Bareit (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: In Switzerland, the annual circulation taxes on road vehicles are set by and paid to the cantons (not to the federal government). We exploit the 26 different circulation tax rules and their variation over time, which we interpret as a natural experiment, to see if linking them to a vehicle’s CO2 emissions rate has helped shift new car sales towards cleaner, lower-emitting vehicles. We find that even when the penalty associated with a highly polluting vehicle is high, the effect is relatively small. For example, in canton Zurich, imposing a 50% “malus” on the annual registration fee for cars that emit 200 or more grams of CO2 per kilometer reduces the average CO2 emissions rate from new cars by only 0.46 gram per kilometer, bringing it to 158.11 grams per kilometer in 2011. A similar effect would be attained with a modest increase in fuel taxes.
    Keywords: vehicle demand estimation; fuel economy; fuel taxes; vehicle taxes; carbon dioxide emissions rates.
    JEL: L62 Q4 Q5
    Date: 2016–05

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