nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2019‒07‒08
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Addressing Climate Change through Price and Non-Price Interventions By Joseph E. Stiglitz
  2. The Urban Crime and Heat Gradient in High and Low Poverty Areas By Kilian Heilmann; Matthew E. Kahn
  3. The Impact of Car Pollution on Infant and Child Health: Evidence from Emissions Cheating By Alexander, Diane; Schwandt, Hannes

  1. By: Joseph E. Stiglitz
    Abstract: Recognizing the importance of the second-best nature of economies, the Stern-Stiglitz report on carbon pricing departed from the recommendation of a single carbon price for all uses at all places and times. This paper provides some of the analytics behind these recommendations. First, I analyze the circumstances in which distributional concerns make desirable a tax or regulation inducing significant reductions in carbon usage in a carbon-intensive sector for which consumers are disproportionately rich. Such policies allow lower carbon prices elsewhere without exceeding carbon emission targets. The cost of the resulting production inefficiency may, under the identified circumstances, be less than the distributional benefits. The paper considers the circumstances in which such differential policies may be best implemented through regulation vs. differential pricing, as well as differential effects on political economy and norm setting. Second, I consider the effect of carbon price trajectories on induced innovation, providing general conditions under which the optimal carbon path should, at least eventually, be falling over time. Finally, I revisit the price-versus-quantity debate and highlight important aspects of the dynamic nature of the problem.
    JEL: A1 H23 K32 Q52 Q54 Q55
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Kilian Heilmann; Matthew E. Kahn
    Abstract: We use spatially disaggregated daily crime data for the City of Los Angeles to measure the impact of heat and pollution on crime and to study how this relationship varies across the city. On average, overall crime increases by 2.2% and violent crime by 5.7% on days with maximum daily temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4° C) compared to days below that threshold. The heat-crime relationship is more pronounced in low-income neighborhoods. This suggests that heat shocks can increase spatial urban quality of life differences through their effect on crime. We use other administrative data and find some evidence that policing intensity declines on extremely hot days. These findings highlight that the quality of urban governance during times of extreme stress may be an important policy lever in helping all socio-economic groups adapt to climate change.
    JEL: H41 Q53 Q54
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Alexander, Diane (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Schwandt, Hannes (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Car exhaust is a major source of air pollution, but little is known about its impacts on population health. We exploit the dispersion of emissions-cheating diesel cars—which secretly polluted up to 150 times as much as gasoline cars—across the United States from 2008-2015 as a natural experiment to measure the health impact of car pollution. Using the universe of vehicle registrations, we demonstrate that a 10 percent cheating-induced increase in car exhaust increases rates of low birth weight and acute asthma attacks among children by 1.9 and 8.0 percent, respectively. These health impacts occur at all pollution levels and across the entire socioeconomic spectrum.
    Keywords: Car pollution; health emissions-cheating; health; pollution
    JEL: I10 I14 J13 K32
    Date: 2019–06–13

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