nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2022‒05‒09
four papers chosen by

  1. Permanence of avoided deforestation in a Transamazon REDD+ initiative (Pará, Brazil) By Cauê Carrilho; Gabriela Demarchi; Amy Duchelle; Sven Wunder; Carla Morsello
  2. Same environment, stratified impacts? Air pollution, extreme temperatures, and birth weight in south China By Xiaoying Liu; Jere R. Behrman; Emily Hannum; Fan Wang; Qingguo Zhao
  3. Microplastic pollution in agricultural soils and abatement measures – a model-based assessment for Germany By Martin Henseler; Micheal Gallagher; Peter Kreins
  4. On Criteria for Evaluating Social Programs By García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J.

  1. By: Cauê Carrilho (USP - Universidade de São Paulo); Gabriela Demarchi (CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [CGIAR], CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro - Montpellier SupAgro); Amy Duchelle (CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [CGIAR]); Sven Wunder (CIFOR - Center for International Forestry Research - CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research [CGIAR], EFI - European Forest Institute); Carla Morsello (EACH - Escola de Artes Ciências e Humanidades - USP - Universidade de São Paulo)
    Abstract: Rigorous impact evaluations of local REDD+ (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) initiatives have shown some positive outcomes for forests, while wellbeing impacts have been mixed. However, will REDD+ outcomes persist over time after interventions have ended? Using quasi-experimental methods, we investigated the effects of one REDD+ initiative in the Brazilian Amazon on deforestation and people's well-being, including intra-community spillover effects (leakage). We then evaluated to what extent outcomes persisted after the initiative ended (permanence). This initiative combined Payments for Environmental Services (PES) with sustainable livelihood alternatives to reduce smallholder deforestation. Data came from face-to-face surveys with 113 households (treatment: 52; non-participant from treatment communities: 35; control: 46) in a three-datapoint panel design (2010, 2014 and 2019). Results indicate the REDD+ initiative conserved an average of 7.8% to 10.3% of forest cover per household. It also increased the probability of improving enrollees' wellbeing by 27-44%. We found no evidence for significant intra-community leakage. After the initiative ended, forest loss rebounded and perceived wellbeing declined – yet, importantly, past saved forest was not cleared. Our results therefore confirm what the theory and stylized evidence envisioned for temporal payments on activity-reducing (‘set-aside'): forest loss was successfully delayed, but not permanently eradicated.
    Keywords: conservation incentives,emission reductions,additionality,climate change mitigation,impact assessment.
    Date: 2022–03–21
  2. By: Xiaoying Liu; Jere R. Behrman; Emily Hannum; Fan Wang; Qingguo Zhao
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether associations between birth weight and prenatal ambient environmental conditions--pollution and extreme temperatures--differ by 1) maternal education; 2) children's innate health; and 3) interactions between these two. We link birth records from Guangzhou, China, during a period of high pollution, to ambient air pollution (PM10 and a composite measure) and extreme temperature data. We first use mean regressions to test whether, overall, maternal education is an "effect modifier" in the relationships between ambient air pollution, extreme temperature, and birth weight. We then use conditional quantile regressions to test for effect heterogeneity according to the unobserved innate vulnerability of babies after conditioning on other confounders. Results show that 1) the negative association between ambient exposures and birth weight is twice as large at lower conditional quantiles of birth weights as at the median; 2) the protection associated with college-educated mothers with respect to pollution and extreme heat is heterogeneous and potentially substantial: between 0.02 and 0.34 standard deviations of birth weights, depending on the conditional quantiles; 3) this protection is amplified under more extreme ambient conditions and for infants with greater unobserved innate vulnerabilities.
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Martin Henseler (EDEHN - Equipe d'Economie Le Havre Normandie - ULH - Université Le Havre Normandie - NU - Normandie Université); Micheal Gallagher; Peter Kreins (Thünen Institute of Rural Studies, Brunswick)
    Abstract: Microplastic pollution in soils is a recent environmental problem and the lack of knowledge about the impacts and the extent of the problem are raising questions and concerns among researchers and politicians. Using a normative simulation model, we assess the extent of microplastic pollution in German agricultural soils originat-ing from the land application of sewage sludge and compost. We estimate the microplastic concentration in German agricultural soils, the area of polluted land, and we compare the efficiency and effectiveness of some selected abatement measures. For 2020, we estimate that microplastic concentration in agricultural soil reaches a maximum concentration of between 30 and 50 mg/kg dry weight on 2% of Utilised Agricultural Area and a marginal concentration on 22% of Utilised Agricultural Area. Without the implementation of abatement measures, we expect the microplastic concentration to increase two to three times by 2060. Assessing the abatement measures, we find that for sewage sludge, thermal recycling is a more efficient and effective than equipping washing machines with microplastic-filters in private households. The use of plastic detection systems in the biowaste collection process reduces the plastic content of the compost and thus the release of micro-plastic into the soil. Detection systems are a more efficient measure for compost than thermal recycling. Con-cerning sludge, the findings indicate that the German strategy of thermally recycling sewage sludge is an effi-cient and effective measure to reduce microplastic pollution in soils. Reducing the plastic content of collected biowaste complies with the principles a circular economy.
    Keywords: Mitigation cost,Efficiency,Recycling,Fertiliser,Sewage sludge,Compost
    Date: 2022–03–22
  4. By: García, Jorge Luis (Clemson University); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines some recently proposed criteria for evaluation of the net social benefits of social programs.
    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, marginal value of public funds
    JEL: D61
    Date: 2022–03

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