nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒22
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Policy Evolution under the Clean Air Act By Schmalensee, Richard; Stavins, Robert N.
  2. On the optimal setting of protected areas By Sonia Schwartz; Johanna Choumert-Nkolo; Jean-Louis Combes; Pascale Combes Motel; Éric Nazindigouba Kere
  3. The Low but Uncertain Measured Benefits of US Water Quality Policy By Shapiro, Joseph S
  4. Social-environmental-economic trade-offs associated with carbon-tax revenue recycling By Cyril Bourgeois; Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet; Philippe Quirion
  5. Charity, Status, and Optimal Taxation: Welfarist and Paternalist Approaches By Aronsson, Thomas; Johansson-Stenman, Olof; Wendner, Ronald

  1. By: Schmalensee, Richard (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Stavins, Robert N. (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: The U.S. Clean Air Act, passed in 1970 with strong bipartisan support, was the first environmental law to give the Federal government a serious regulatory role, established the architecture of the U.S. air pollution control system, and became a model for subsequent environmental laws in the United States and globally. We outline the Act's key provisions, as well as the main changes Congress has made to it over time. We assess the evolution of air pollution control policy under the Clean Air Act, with particular attention to the types of policy instruments used. We provide a generic assessment of the major types of policy instruments, and we trace and assess the historical evolution of EPA's policy instrument use, with particular focus on the increased use of market-based policy instruments, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the 1990s. Over the past fifty years, air pollution regulation has gradually become much more complex, and over the past twenty years, policy debates have become increasingly partisan and polarized, to the point that it has become impossible to amend the Act or pass other legislation to address the new threat of climate change.
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2018–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp18-039&r=all
  2. By: Sonia Schwartz (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Johanna Choumert-Nkolo (EDI - Economic Development Initiatives Limited); Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Pascale Combes Motel (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Éric Nazindigouba Kere (BAD - Banque africaine de développement / African Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of the optimal size of protected areas and what conducts neighboring effects. We investigate in which measure the infrastructure effect and the scarcity effect matter. We obtain several results. The size of protected area mainly depends on preferences toward forest, on the firms' production costs and on the relation between municipalities. As far as total deforestation is concerned asymmetric regulation is better than no regulation. The infrastructure effect always leads to smaller protected areas than the scarcity effect. Under the infrastructure effect, centralized decisions do not always work in favor of larger protected areas than decentralized decisions contrary to the scarcity effect. We also show that decentralized decisions can reach the first best under the infrastructure effect without public intervention. A study of protected areas in the Brazilian Legal Amazônia corroborates our theoretical results.
    Keywords: Protected areas,Deforestation,Nash equilibrium,Environmental federalism,Brazilian Legal Amazônia
    Date: 2019–03–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02082753&r=all
  3. By: Shapiro, Joseph S
    Abstract: U.S. investment to decrease pollution in rivers, lakes, and other surface waters has exceeded $1.9 trillion since 1960, and has also exceeded the cost of most other U.S. environmental initiatives. These investments come both from the 1972 Clean Water Act and the largely voluntary efforts to control pollution from agriculture and urban runoff. This paper reviews the methods and conclusions of about 20 recent evaluations of these policies. Surprisingly, most analyses estimate that these policies’ benefits are much smaller than their costs; the benefit/cost ratio from the median study is 0.37. Yet existing evidence is limited and undercounts many types of benefits. We conclude that it is unclear whether many of these regulations truly fail a benefit/cost test or whether existing evidence understates their net benefits; we also describe specific questions that when answered would help eliminate this uncertainty.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Water pollution, Clean Water Act, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, environmental regulation
    Date: 2018–10–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt2qq4d7vn&r=all
  4. By: Cyril Bourgeois (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech); Louis-Gaëtan Giraudet (ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech, CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech); Philippe Quirion (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: As carbon taxes gain traction and grow tighter in OECD countries, the question of their recycling becomes crucial for political acceptance. Considering the impact of the French carbon tax in the residential sector, we examine the trade-offs between fuel poverty alleviation, energy savings and economic leverage for two revenue-recycling options-as a lump-sum payment or as a subsidy for energy efficiency improvement, each restricted to low-income households-defined as those belonging to the first two quantiles of the income distribution. We do so using Res-IRF, a highly detailed energy-economy model that interacts housing features (single vs. multi-family, energy efficiency, heating fuel) with key household characteristics (tenancy status, income of both owners and occupants). We find that the energy efficiency subsidy recycling is superior to the lump-sum payment in all respects; it even fully offsets the regressive effect of the carbon tax from 2025 onwards. No recycling, however, effectively addresses fuel poverty in private, rented housing.
    Keywords: carbon tax,revenue-recycling,building sector,fuel poverty,energy efficiency subsidies JEL codes: D63,H23,Q47
    Date: 2019–03–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:ciredw:hal-02073964&r=all
  5. By: Aronsson, Thomas (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics, Umeå University, Sweden); Johansson-Stenman, Olof (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wendner, Ronald (Department of Economics, University of Graz, Austria)
    Abstract: This paper deals with tax policy responses to charitable giving, defined in terms of voluntary contributions to a public good, to which the government also contributes through public revenue; the set of tax instruments contains general, nonlinear taxes on income and charitable giving. In addition to consumption, leisure and a public good, individuals obtain utility from the warm glow of giving and social status generated by their relative contributions to charity as well as their relative consumption compared with others. We analyze the conditions under which it is optimal to tax or subsidize charitable giving and derive corresponding optimal policy rules. Another aim of the paper is to compare the optimal tax policy and public good provision by a conventional welfarist government with those by two kinds of paternalist governments: The first kind does not respect the consumer preferences for status in terms of relative giving and relative consumption, while the second kind in addition does not respect preferences for warm glow of giving. The optimal policy rules for marginal taxation and public good provision are similar across governments, except for the stronger incentive to tax charitable giving at the margin under the more extensive kind of paternalism. Numerical simulations supplement the theoretical results.
    Keywords: Conspicuous consumption; conspicuous charitable giving; optimal taxation; warm glow
    JEL: D03 D62 H21 H23
    Date: 2019–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0760&r=all

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