nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Future of U.S. Carbon-Pricing Policy By Robert Stavins
  2. Long-Run Environmental Accounting in the U.S. Economy. By Nicholas Z. Muller
  3. Green Commuting and Gasoline Taxes in the United States By Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto

  1. By: Robert Stavins
    Abstract: There is widespread agreement among economists – and a diverse set of other policy analysts – that at least in the long run, an economy-wide carbon pricing system will be an essential element of any national policy that can achieve meaningful reductions of CO2 emissions cost-effectively in the United States. There is less agreement, however, among economists and others in the policy community regarding the choice of specific carbon-pricing policy instrument, with some supporting carbon taxes and others favoring cap and trade mechanisms. This prompts two important questions. How do the two major approaches to carbon pricing compare on relevant dimensions, including but not limited to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and distributional equity? And which of the two approaches is more likely to be adopted in the future in the United States? This paper addresses these questions by drawing on both normative and positive theories of policy instrument choice as they apply to U.S. climate change policy, and draws extensively on relevant empirical evidence. The paper concludes with a look at the path ahead, including an assessment of how the two carbon-pricing instruments can be made more politically acceptable.
    JEL: Q40 Q48 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25912&r=all
  2. By: Nicholas Z. Muller
    Abstract: This paper estimates an augmented measure of national output inclusive of environmental pollution damage in the United States economy over a 60-year period. The paper reports two primary findings. First, air pollution intensity declined precipitously from the 1950s to the modern era. Air pollution damage comprised roughly 30 percent of output in the post WWII economy, declining to under 10 percent in 2016. Second, accounting for pollution damage significantly affects growth rates. Prior to the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, GDP outpaced Environmentally-Adjusted Value Added (EVA), defined as GDP less air pollution damage. Following passage of the Act, EVA grew more rapidly than GDP. Macroeconomic and environmental policies, as well as the business cycle, appreciably affect damages and EVA growth.
    JEL: O44 Q51 Q53 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25910&r=all
  3. By: Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how gasoline tax rates are related to the time workers in the United States spend commuting by private car, public transport, or with other physical modes of transport. Our identification strategy relies on both between-state differences and time variations in gasoline taxes. Using the American Time Use Surveys for the years 2003 to 2015, we find that higher gasoline tax rates are related with less time spent in commuting. Furthermore, higher gasoline taxes are related to a lower proportion of commuting by private car, and higher proportions of commuting by public transport and/or a physical mode of transport (e.g., walking, cycling). Our results highlight the importance of gasoline taxes (and prices) on the consumption of energy for personal transport, as higher gasoline taxes are related to a greater use of "green" modes of transport, showing that fuel taxes are important for good management of the environment.
    Keywords: commuting time, public transport, walking/cycling, gasoline taxes
    JEL: D1 Q4 R4
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12377&r=all

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