nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒10
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Carbon Taxes, Path Dependency, and Directed Technical Change: Evidence from the Auto Industry By Philippe Aghion; Antoine Dechezleprêtre; David Hémous; Ralf Martin; John Van Reenen
  2. Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves By Esther Duflo; Michael Greenstone; Rema Hanna
  3. Going Fast or Going Green? Evidence from Environmental Speed Limits in Norway. By Folgerø, Ingrid Kristine; Harding, Torfinn; Westby, Benjamin
  4. Environmental expenditure disclosure strategies in a regulated context By Florence Depoers; Tiphaine Jérôme
  5. Characterizing fuel choices and fuelwood use for residential heating and cooking in urban areas of central-southern Chile: the role of prices, income, and the availability of energy sources and technology By Jaime, Mónica; Chávez, Carlos; Gómez, Walter

  1. By: Philippe Aghion (CDF - Collège de France - CdF - Collège de France, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, CIAR - Canadian Institute for Advanced Research - Université de Montréal, Department of Economics, Harvard University); Antoine Dechezleprêtre (Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); David Hémous (Insead - INSEAD - INSEAD); Ralf Martin (Imperial College London, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); John Van Reenen (National Bureau of Economic Research - National Bureau of Economic Research, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)
    Abstract: Can directed technical change be used to combat climate change? We construct new firm-level panel data on auto industry innovation distinguishing between “dirty” (internal combustion engine) and “clean” (e.g., electric, hybrid, and hydrogen) patents across 80 countries over several decades. We show that firms tend to innovate more in clean (and less in dirty) technologies when they face higher tax-inclusive fuel prices. Furthermore, there is path dependence in the type of innovation (clean/dirty) both from aggregate spillovers and from the firm’s own innovation history. We simulate the increases in carbon taxes needed to allow clean technologies to overtake dirty technologies.
    Keywords: Carbon Taxes
    Date: 2016–01
  2. By: Esther Duflo; Michael Greenstone; Rema Hanna (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: It is conventional wisdom that it is possible to reduce exposure to indoor air pollution, improve health outcomes, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in rural areas of developing countries through the adoption of improved cooking stoves. This is largely supported by observational field studies and engineering or laboratory experiments. However, we provide new evidence, from a randomized control trial conducted in rural Orissa, India (one of the poorest places in India) on the benefits of a commonly used improved stove that laboratory tests showed to reduce indoor air pollution and require less fuel. We track households for up to four years after they received the stove. While we find a meaningful reduction in smoke inhalation in the first year, there is no effect over longer time horizons. We find no evidence of improvements in lung functioning or health and there is no change in fuel consumption (and presumably greenhouse gas emissions). The difference between the laboratory and field findings appears to result from households’ revealed low valuation of the stoves. Households failed to use the stoves regularly or appropriately, did not make the necessary investments to maintain them properly, and usage rates ultimately declined further over time. More broadly, this study underscores the need to test environmental and health technologies in real-world settings where behavior may temper impacts, and to test them over a long enough horizon to understand how this behavioral effect evolves over time.
    Keywords: indoor air pollution, human health, climate change, technology adoption
    JEL: O10 O13 O12 Q0 Q23 Q3 Q51 Q53 Q56 I15 I18
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Folgerø, Ingrid Kristine (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Harding, Torfinn (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Westby, Benjamin (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of speed limits on local air pollution, using a series of datespecific speed limit reductions in Oslo over the 2004-2015 period. We find that lowering the speed limit from 80 to 60 km/h reduces travel speed by 5.8 km/h, but we find no effect on local air pollution. A conservative cost–benefit calculation suggests a net social loss from the speed limit reductions of 0.52 billion USD each year. Our findings imply that policy makers need to consider other actions than speed limit reductions to improve local air quality.
    Keywords: Temporary speed limit; air pollution; travel time; cost-benefit; regression discontinuity design
    JEL: H23 Q53 Q58 R41
    Date: 2017–09–07
  4. By: Florence Depoers (CEROS - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Organisations et la Stratégie - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre); Tiphaine Jérôme (University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland)
    Abstract: Environmental expenditures (EE) are used to assess and monitor corporate environmental performance. Legislators are aware of the informative potential of this indicator, and listed firms are required to disclose their EE. Our research draws on legitimacy theory to identify and explain the strategic responses of a sample of French listed companies to the requirement to disclose this item. A content analysis identifies three different strategies: no response, a “facade” response, and a substantive response. Tests reveal several determinants of these strategies: environmental criticism, the existence of SRI shareholders, and the business sector. Our research contributes to both academic and regulatory debates on standardization of environmental disclosures, by revealing and explaining how firms behave in response to the law.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Jaime, Mónica; Chávez, Carlos; Gómez, Walter
    Abstract: This paper analyzes empirically the determinants of fuel choices and intensity of fuelwood use for residential heating and cooking in central-southern Chile. By using information from a sample of 2,761 households in nine urban areas, we first investigate households’ choices of the main fuel used for heating by means of multinomial models. Then we examine the intensity of fuelwood use through fractional probit models; these models allow analyzing interdependence of fuel use by households while taking account of households’ individual heterogeneity. Results indicate that households’ fuel choices are mainly driven by monetary incentives such as income and fuel prices. In contrast, while there is a component of fuelwood use that cannot be influenced by energy policies such as meteorological conditions across the country, there is a number of characteristics that influence the share households’ energy production that is generated by fuelwood. Factors range from socioeconomic characteristics to households’ perceptions regarding the link between air pollution and use of fuelwood in the county of residence. The knowledge of these factors brings an opportunity for the design of future policy interventions aimed at incentivizing the adoption of cleaner devices.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Energía, Investigación socioeconómica,
    Date: 2017

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