nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Greener and Fairer: A Progressive Environmental Tax Reform for Spain By Christoph Boehringer; Xaquin Garcia-Muros; Mikel González-Eguino
  2. Structural Changes and Sustainability. A Selected Review of the Empirical Evidence By Maria Savona; Tommaso Ciarli
  3. Does climate influence households’ thermal comfort decisions? By Enrica De Cian; Filippo Pavanello; Teresa Randazzo; Malcolm Mistry; Marinella Davide
  4. Modelling the Evolution of Economic Structure and Climate Change: A Review By Tommaso Ciarli; Maria Savona

  1. By: Christoph Boehringer (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Xaquin Garcia-Muros (Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Leioa, Spain); Mikel González-Eguino (University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Bilbao, Spain)
    Abstract: Environmental externalities call for the use of environmental taxes to get prices right and thereby reduce environmental pressures. To date, however, the Spanish government makes only limited use of environmental taxes. One major reason for the policy reluctance are concerns on the regressive impacts of environmental taxes. We argue that policy can hedge against these concerns by means of revenue recycling. More specifically, we assess the impacts of a green tax reform where additional revenues are redistributed lump-sum to Spanish households on an equal-per-capita basis. Based on quantitative evidence from coupled microsimulation and computable equilibrium analyses we find that such a green tax reform leads to a substantial reduction in harmful emissions while having a progressive impact.
    Keywords: Environmental tax reform, household incidence, computable general equilibrium, microsimulation
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Maria Savona (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK); Tommaso Ciarli (SPRU, Univeristy of Sussex, UK)
    Abstract: The paper offers a review of selected topics in the empirical literature on structural change and sustainability. We focus on aspects of structural change that directly affect emissions and energy intensity: changes of the sectoral composition of economies, trade and international fragmentation of production, technological change and innovation, and demand. We identify several empirical facts. First, only a few countries have experienced a decoupling between growth and emissions, due to proportionately faster growth rather than greater energy efficiency. Second, the long-term shift from manufacturing to services has not led, in all cases, to the de-materialisation of economies and a lower environmental burden. Exploitation of energy efficiency increases depends on the ability of the service sectors to incorporate technical changes to reduce energy intensity. Third, global trade and energy and emissions intensity trends support the pollution haven hypothesis, which predicts displacement of the environmental burden from developed to emerging countries. The pursuit by developing countries of a long-term strategy of trading jobs for emissions is likely to exacerbate the asymmetry related to emissions intensities between developed and less developed economies. The review should inform debate on environmental policy within the broader context of innovation and development policies. Classification-JEL; O3; O44; Q55
    Keywords: Structural change; sustainable development; tertiarisation; de-materialisation; pollution haven hypothesis
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Enrica De Cian (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari and CMCC); Filippo Pavanello (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Teresa Randazzo (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Malcolm Mistry (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari and CMCC); Marinella Davide (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari and CMCC)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how households have been adapting to climate change through the use of two technologies important for thermal comfort, air conditioning and thermal insulation. Merging a global gridded dataset of historical temperatures with the 2011 OECD EPIC survey, we study the determinants of installing air conditioning or adopting thermal insulation in response to a warmer climate in eight countries. After controlling for a set of demographic, socio-economic and attitudinal variables, we apply a binary probit model and find that exposure to a warmer climate influences only air conditioning adoption whereas, climatic conditions seem not to affect thermal insulation decisions which, instead, mainly depends on household wealth, dwelling characteristics, age, household size and propensity to energy-saving behaviours. This study does not find any evidence of a possible joint decision for the two technologies.
    Keywords: Cross-section, climate change, adaptation, energy
    JEL: D12 O13 Q4
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Tommaso Ciarli (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK); Maria Savona (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK)
    Abstract: We discuss how different models assessing climate change integrate aspects of structural change that are crucial to improve understanding of the relation between changes in the environment and in the economy. We identify six related aspects of structural change, which have significant impact on climate change: sectoral composition, industrial organisation, technology, employment, final demand, and institutions. Economic models vary substantially with respect to the aspects of structural change that they include, and how they model them. We review different modelling families and compare these differences: integrated assessment models (IAM), computable general equilibrium (CGE) models, structural change models (SCM), ecological macroeconomics models in the Keynesian tradition (EMK) and evolutionary agent based models (EABM). We find that IAM and CGE address few of the aspects of structural change identified; SCM focus on the sectoral composition; and EKM study final demand and employment structure. But all these models are aggregate and omit the complexity of the interactions between structural and climate change. EABM have explored a larger number of aspects of structural change, modelling their emergence from the interaction of microeconomic actors, but have not yet exploited their potential to study the interactions among interrelated aspects of structural and climate change.
    Keywords: Strucural change, climate change, economic modelling
    Date: 2019–01

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