nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Are Environmental Concerns Deterring People from Having Children? By Lockwood, Ben; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Oswald, Andrew J.
  2. Plastic emissions from mulch film and abatement measures By Martin Henseler
  3. Three Criteria for Evaluating Social Programs By García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J.
  4. Pollution versus Inequality: Tradeoffs for Fiscal Policy By Camille Hainnaux; Thomas Seegmuller

  1. By: Lockwood, Ben (University of Warwick); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Are 'green' environmental concerns -- about climate change, biodiversity, pollution -- deterring today's citizens from having children? This paper, which we believe to be the first of its kind, reports preliminary evidence consistent with that increasingly discussed hypothesis. Our study has a simple longitudinal design. It follows through time a random sample of thousands of initially childless men and women in the UK. Those individuals who are committed to a green lifestyle are found to be less likely to go on to have offspring. Later analysis adjusts statistically for a large set of potential confounders, including age, education, marital status, mental health, life satisfaction, optimism, and physical health. Because there might be unobservable reasons why those who are pro-environmental may be less likely to want a child, and to try to ensure that the finding cannot be explained by selection and omitted variables, the paper explores Oster's (2019) bounds test. The paper's final estimated effect-size is substantial: a person entirely unconcerned about environmental behaviour is found to be approximately 60% more likely to go on to have a child when compared to a deeply committed environmentalist.
    Keywords: fertility, child-bearing, climate change, environment, green
    JEL: J1 Q50
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Martin Henseler (EDEHN - Equipe d'Economie Le Havre Normandie - ULH - Université Le Havre Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: Plastic mulch film application in agricultural production creates conflicts between environmentalists, farmers and society. Besides being a disturbing element in the landscape and fauna habitats, mulch films also cause plastic emissions to the environment. Farmers apply the mulch film to produce specific crops with reduced factor input and to optimise production conditions. Plastic mulch film also helps to reduce environmental impacts like soil erosion. With plastic mulch film, farmers can produce specific crops according to the consumers' demand: asparagus, strawberries, lettuce, gherkins, marrows, and early potatoes. Increasing the thickness of mulch film can reduce the emissions from plastic mulch films and maintain the advantages in production processes. At the regional level, plastic emissions are heterogenous and high in hotspots with extensive application of plastic mulch film. The abatement scenarios simulate the increase in film thickness. The results show that increasing the film thickness to 40 to 50 micrometres reduces the plastic emissions by 20 to 40 per cent, with marginal abatement costs reaching from 120 to 130 euros per kilogram of abated plastic. If farmers transmit the increase in production costs of this measure to the consumer, product prices will increase by 1 to 10%. The study presents one of the first economic analyses of the effectiveness and efficiency of abatement measures to reduce plastic emissions from agricultural mulch film.
    Keywords: agriculture,mitigation,mitigation cost,efficiency,effectiveness,microplastic
    Date: 2022–09–17
  3. By: García, Jorge Luis (Clemson University); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines the economic foundations of three criteria used for evaluating the costs and benefits of social programs. Some criteria do not consider the scale of programs or address the costs associated with programs that expand or contract the total government budget. A recent addition to the list of evaluation criteria—the marginal value of public funds (MVPF)—does not adopt a social optimality perspective. It evaluates the optimality of expenditures assuming a predetermined aggregate budget without considering the social costs of raising that budget.
    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, marginal value of public funds
    JEL: D61
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Camille Hainnaux (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thomas Seegmuller (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the impact of redistribution and polluting commodity taxation on inequality and pollution in a dynamic setting. We build a two-sector Ramsey model with a green and a polluting good. Households are heterogeneous, which allows for income inequality, and have a level of subsistence consumption for the polluting commodity, modeled by non-homothetic preferences. Increasing the tax rate has a mixed effect depend on the level of subsistence consumption. A low level allows to tackle both the pollution and inequality issues. Under a high level of it, pollution increases: if inequality can be reduced through redistribution, taxation does not allow to solve for environmental degradation. Looking at the stability properties of the economy, we find that the level of subsistence consumption and the externality matter. A high subsistence level of polluting consumption leads to instability or indeterminacy of the steady-state, while the environmental externality plays a stabilizing role in the economy. This leaves room for taxation and redistribution: increasing the tax rate and redistributing more towards workers play a key role in the occurrence of indeterminacy and instability.
    Keywords: Externalities,Heterogeneous agents,Inequality,Pollution,Redistribution,Taxation
    Date: 2022–09

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