nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Environmental Impact of Sharing: Household and Urban Economies in CO2 Emissions By Anders Fremstad; Anthony Underwood; Sammy Zahran
  2. Do Fossil fuel Taxes Promote Innovation in Renewable Electricity Generation? By Lazkano, Itziar; Pham, Linh
  3. Essays on public economics By Jahan Dideh, Mahsa

  1. By: Anders Fremstad (Economics Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins); Anthony Underwood (Department of Economics, Dickinson College); Sammy Zahran (Economics Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins)
    Abstract: Studies find that per capita carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) decrease with household size and urban density, so the demographic trends of declining household size and dense urbanization produce countervailing effects with respect to emissions. We posit that both trends operate on a common scaling mechanism realized through the sharing of carbon- intensive expenditures. With detailed data from the United States Consumer Expenditure Survey, we construct a dataset of CO2 emissions at the household level and leverage a unique measure of residential density to estimate household and urban economies. We find that dense urban areas have per capita emissions 23 percent lower than rural areas, and that adding an additional member to a household reduces per capita emissions by about 6 percent. We also show that household economies are about twice as large in rural as compared to dense urban areas. These results suggest that the carbon benefits of dense urbanization have the potential to offset the effects of declining household size.
    Keywords: Emissions, Urban Density, Sharing, Household Size, Energy
    JEL: D1 Q4 R2 R3
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Lazkano, Itziar (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Pham, Linh (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
    Abstract: We evaluate the role of a fossil fuel tax and research subsidy in directing innovation from fossil fuel toward renewable energy technologies in the electricity sector. Using a global firm-level electricity patent database from 1978 to 2011, we find that the impact of fossil fuel taxes on renewable energy innovation varies with the type of fossil fuel. Specifically, a tax on coal reduces innovation in both fossil fuel and renewable energy technologies while a tax on natural gas has no statistically significant impact on renewable energy innovation. The reason is that easily dispatchable energy sources like coal-fired power plants need to complement renewable energy Technologies in the grid because renewables generate electricity intermittently. Our results suggest that a tax on natural gas, combined with research subsidies for renewable energy, may effectively shift innovation in the electricity sector towards renewable energy. In contrast, coal taxation or a carbon tax that increases coal prices has unintended negative consequences for renewable energy innovation.
    Keywords: Electricity; Energy taxes; Renewable; coal; natural gas technologies
    JEL: L90 O30 Q40
    Date: 2016–11–16
  3. By: Jahan Dideh, Mahsa (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: This dissertation studies a range of topics in public economics. The first two chapters address the optimal provision of productive public goods in two different settings. Using a theoretical model, the first study examines the impact of trade liberalization on the optimal provision of productive public good and highlights the role of inequality in this regard. The next chapter explores how natural resource revenue can shape people preference toward productive versus distributive public goods and under which condition they prefer one to another. The last chapter models how the optimal environmental tax policy is characterized in a developing country with credit market imperfections and an inefficient tax system.
    Date: 2016

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