nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒09
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The impact of environmental policy stringency on industrial productivity growth: A semi-parametric study of OECD countries By Guohua Feng; Keith R. McLaren; Ou Yang; Xiaohui Zhang; Xueyan Zhao
  2. Consumer Preferences for Sustainable and Healthy Lifestyle: Five-Country Discrete Choice Experiments By Milan Scasny; Iva Zverinova; Vojtech Maca

  1. By: Guohua Feng (Department of Economics, University of North Texas); Keith R. McLaren (Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University); Ou Yang (Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Xiaohui Zhang (Business School, University of Exeter); Xueyan Zhao (Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University)
    Abstract: This paper employs a semi-parametric varying coefficient system approach to investigating the impact of environmental policy stringency on a nation's productivity growth using data for a panel of OECD countries over a period of two decades. A new cross-country proxy of environmental policy stringency is employed. Our results show that while stricter environmental policies might shift a country's total cost in production upward, for countries which have already adopted relatively more stringent environmental policies, further increasing their policy stringency seems to enhance these countries' productivity in the long run. We also find that more stringent environmental policies seem to render a country's use of intermediate inputs more inelastic to their own prices and decrease the substitutability between labour and intermediate inputs in the long run. We argue that more stringent environmental policies would exert tighter control over the use of several intermediate inputs such as energy, raw materials, pollution-intensive services etc, leading to the use of these inputs being less sensitive to changes in their market prices. Tighter control over the use of these intermediate inputs would also render them less of a substitute to labour input.
    Keywords: environmental policy stringency; productivity growth; semi-parametric varying coefficient system; OECD countries
    JEL: C14 D24 Q58
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Milan Scasny (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Opletalova 26, 110 00, Prague, Czech Republic; Charles University Environment Centre, José Martího 407/2, 162 00, Prague, Czech Republic); Iva Zverinova (Charles University Environment Centre, José Martího 407/2, 162 00, Prague, Czech Republic); Vojtech Maca (Charles University Environment Centre, José Martího 407/2, 162 00, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Consumers preferences for sustainable and healthier lifestyle are examined through stated preference discrete choice experiments. Specifically, we introduce several choice situations in which each respondent was asked to choose the best from three lifestyles presented, including the respondent’s current lifestyle. Each lifestyle alternative is described by a different diet, health risks, and monetary costs. Diet is described by a number of portions of five different food items eaten per week (fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, legumes, and confectionery, ice-cream and sugar-sweetened drinks). Using a split-sample treatment, lifestyles are then described by either physical activities or environmental impacts (in kg of CO2 emissions). We also examine the effect of self-affirmation and information about the environmental impacts provided separately or in a combination. A non-linear preference is tested for increasing versus decreasing cost of food expenditures. Preferences are analysed using an original stated preference survey conducted in five EU countries (the Czech Republic, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, and in the United Kingdom) in summer 2018, with dataset consisting of 10,288 observations. We find that importance of lifestyle attributes varies across the countries and information treatments. The cost is significant in every country, indicating that lower costs lead to a higher probability of choosing the alternative lifestyle. Reducing health risks and environmental impact motivated respondents to change their lifestyle, even though reducing 1 kg CO2 due to food consumption a week is valued 3–6 times less than reducing cardiovascular risk by one percent. Still, the implied WTP for a tone CO2 abatement is in a range of 300–1,200 Euro and VSC of cardiovascular disease lies between 4,000 and 35,000 Euro, depending on country and DCE variant. Increasing physical activity increases the likelihood of changing lifestyle only in Latvia and Portugal. Most respondents prefer to keep eating meat and eliminating meat or fish from food consumption is associated with large dis-benefit. Respondents also prefer to increase portions of health-improving vegetables and fruits, however, this is not the case of pulses.
    Keywords: Discrete choice experiment, willingness to pay, sustainable lifestyle, healthy diets, consumer preferences, physical activity, health risk, CO2 emissions
    JEL: D12 H31 Q51 R22
    Date: 2019–06

This nep-res issue is ©2019 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.