nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Innovation in Clean Coal Technologies: Empirical Evidence from Firm-Level Patent Data By Jürgen Kruse; Heike Wetzel
  2. Do industires pollute more in poorer neighborhoods? Evidence from toxic releasing plants in Mexico By Lopamudra Chakraborti; Michael Margolis; José Jaime Sainz Santamaria
  3. Green nudges: Do they work? Are they ethical? By Christian Schubert

  1. By: Jürgen Kruse (University of Cologne); Heike Wetzel (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: This article empirically analyzes supply-side and demand-side factors expected to affect innovation in clean coal technologies. Patent data from 93 national and international patent offices is used to construct new firm-level panel data on 3,648 clean coal innovators over the time period 1978 to 2009. The results indicate that on the supply-side a firm’s history in clean coal patenting and overall propensity to patent positively affects clean coal innovation. On the demand-side we find strong evidence that environmental regulation of emissions, that is, CO2, NOX and SO2, induces innovation in both efficiency improving combustion and after pollution control technologies.
    Keywords: clean coal technologies, innovation, patents, technological change
    JEL: C33 O31 Q40 Q55
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Lopamudra Chakraborti (Division of Economics, CIDE); Michael Margolis (Division of Economics, CIDE); José Jaime Sainz Santamaria (Division of Economics, CIDE)
    Abstract: This paper provides the first, direct evidence that poorer communities in Mexico are associated with higher toxics pollution releases. We utilize previously unused, self-reported, plant-level annual database (from 2004 to 2012) and socioeconomic characteristics of the nearby population from the 2000 Census. Our measure of "Prosperity" is linked ot both a lower probability of toxic discharges into water as well as lower levels of averange releases. In addition, we find that at the bottom quintile of the "Prosperity" distribution, the predicted probability that a plant discharges in the fouth quartile of the pollution distribution is somewhat higher (28%) than for the first quartile of pollution. This negative association is consistent with two related findings that also indicate environmental justice concerns. A one prosperity point increase results in plants cleaning up i.e. reducing their toxic releases by as much as 10%. This order of magnitude is valid irrespective of the initial pollution levels reported by plants. Second, it is also linked with a 0.1% reduction in the probability of inaccurate reporting. Lastly, some evidence is found on changes in socioeconomic status indicator linked to decline in pollution.
    Keywords: industrial pollution, local income and unemployment effects, informal regulation, environmental justice, community pressure, toxic releasis in Mexico
    JEL: Q52
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Christian Schubert (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Environmental policies are increasingly informed by behavioral economics insights. ‘Green nudges’ in particular have been suggested as a promising new tool to encourage consumers to act in an environmentally responsible way, such as choosing renewable energy sources or saving energy. While there is an emerging literature on the instrumental effectiveness of behavioral policy tools such as these, their ethical assessment has largely been neglected. This paper attempts to fill this gap by, first, providing a structured overview of the most important contributions to the literature on pro-environmental nudges and, second, offering some critical guidelines that may help the practitioner come to an ethically informed assessment of nudges.
    Keywords: Nudges, Libertarian Paternalism, Behavioral Economics, Green Defaults, Autonomy
    Date: 2016

This nep-res issue is ©2016 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.