nep-res New Economics Papers
on Resource Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi, Universidad de la República

  1. Air Pollution and Agricultural Productivity in a Developing Country By Merfeld, Joshua D.
  2. Nature Experiences and Pro-Environmental Behavior: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Sarah Lynn Flecke; Rene Schwaiger; Jürgen Huber; Michael Kirchler
  3. The Effects of Climate Change in the Poorest Countries: Evidence from the Permanent Shrinking of Lake Chad By Remi Jedwab; Federico Haslop; Roman Zarate; Carlos Rodriguez-Castelan
  4. Effective community mobilization: Evidence from Mali By Maria Laura Alzua; Juan-Camilo Cardenas; Habiba Djebbari
  5. Bidding Behaviour in Interdependent Markets for Electricity and Green Certificates By Ganhammar, Kajsa

  1. By: Merfeld, Joshua D. (KDI School of Public Policy and Management)
    Abstract: I document negative externalities of air pollution in the Indian agricultural sector. Using variation in pollution induced by changes in wind across years, I show that higher levels of pollution lead to decreased agricultural productivity, with large changes in productivity being common. The negative effects of pollution are larger in areas growing more labor-intensive crops, indicating that the pollution works at least partly through direct effects on labor productivity. Finally, combining wind direction with the rollout of coal plants, results indicate that pollution from coal plants has a larger effect on agricultural productivity than other types of pollution. Given that the agricultural sector is a refuge for the poor in many developing countries, these results suggest that the negative externalities of pollution may hit the poorest particularly hard.
    Keywords: pollution, productivity, agriculture, labor, India
    JEL: H40 I15 J22 O13 Q52 Q53
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Sarah Lynn Flecke; Rene Schwaiger; Jürgen Huber; Michael Kirchler
    Abstract: We conducted a randomized controlled trial in a lab and natural setting to investigate whether exposure to nature leads people to behave more pro-environmentally. We further investigated whether attention restoration mediates this effect. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions, in which they spent 15 minutes either walking through a park, walking through an urban area with limited greenery, viewing a video of a nature walk, or remaining seated in the lab (taking a break). Participants were given a EUR 10 endowment to keep for themselves or donate to either a conservation, social, or cultural charity. We measured the frequency and the amount donated to the conservation charity as indicators of pro-environmental behavior. We found that real nature exposure positively affects pro-environmental behavior compared to viewing a nature video. This effect was mediated by self-reported restoration, however, the mediator was not robust to controlling for environmental concern and nature identity, implying that attention restoration as a mechanism is driven by more environmentally concerned and connected individuals.
    Keywords: pro-environmental behavior, nature experience, attention restoration, restorativeness, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 Q50 Q51 D91
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Remi Jedwab (George Washington University); Federico Haslop (George Washington University); Roman Zarate (World Bank); Carlos Rodriguez-Castelan (World Bank)
    Abstract: Empirical studies of the economic effects of climate change (CC) largely rely on climate anomalies for causal identification purposes. Slow and permanent changes in climate-driven geographical conditions, i.e. CC as defined by the IPCC (2013), have been studied relatively less, especially in Africa which remains the most vulnerable continent to CC. We focus on Lake Chad, which used to be the 11th-largest lake in the world. This African lake the size of El Salvador, Israel, or Massachusetts slowly shrunk by 90% for exogenous reasons between 1963 and 1990. While water supply decreased, land supply increased, generating a priori ambiguous effects. These effects make the increasing global disappearance of lakes a critical trend to study. For Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Niger - 25% of sub-Saharan Africa's population –, we construct a novel data set tracking population patterns at a fine spatial level from the 1940s to the 2010s. Difference-in-differences show much slower growth in the proximity of the lake, but only after the lake started shrinking. These effects persist two decades after the lake stopped shrinking, implying limited adaptation. Additionally, the negative water supply effects on fishing, farming, and herding outweighed the growth in land supply and other positive effects. A quantitative spatial model used to rationalize these results and estimate aggregate welfare losses taking into account adaptation shows overall losses of about 6%. The model also allows us to study the aggregate and spatial effects of policies related to migration, land use, trade, roads, and cities.
    Keywords: Climate Change; Aridification; Shrinkage of Lakes; Natural Disasters; Environment; Water Supply; Land Supply; Rural Decline; Agricultural Sectors; Adaptation; Land Use; Africa
    JEL: Q54 Q56 Q15 Q20 R11 R12 O13 O44
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Maria Laura Alzua (Universidad de La Plata); Juan-Camilo Cardenas (Universidad de los Andes); Habiba Djebbari (Aix Marseille Université Économiques)
    Abstract: Experts argue that adoption of healthy sanitation practices such as handwashing and latrine use requires focusing on the whole community rather than on individual behaviors. According to this view, one limiting factor for ending open defecation lies in the capacity of the community for collective action: Each member of a community bears the private cost of contributing by washing hands and using latrines, but benefits through better health outcomes depend on whether other community members also opt out from open defecation. We rely on a community-based intervention carried out in Mali as an illustrative example (Community Led Total Sanitation or CLTS). Using a series of experiments conducted in 121 villages and designed to measure the willingness of community members to contribute to a local public good, we investigate the process of participation in a collective action problem setting. Our focus is on two types of activities: gathering of community members to encourage public discussion of the collective-action problem and facilitating the adoption of individual actions to attain the socially preferred outcome. When the facilitator starts by introducing a topic and a group discussion follows, can the facilitator further improve outcomes? Will a group discussion that follows facilitation improve, reduce, or have no effect on collective action? We find evidence that cheap talk raises public good provision and that facilitation by a community member does not improve upon open discussion.
    Date: 2023–08–11
  5. By: Ganhammar, Kajsa (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Market-based climate policies have received increased attention, making it important to understand how such politically created markets affect competition in the electricity market. This paper focuses on the green certificate policy which financially supports producers of renewably sourced electricity by means of tradable certificates, and develops a simple duopoly model that incorporates both the electricity and the green certificate markets in an auction-based setting. The results suggest that, in case the subsidised technology has a higher expected marginal cost than the conventional technology, the policy can improve competition and efficiency in the electricity market. Conversely, if producers are ex-ante symmetric in their marginal costs, the advantage the policy creates enables the subsidised producer to bid higher at given cost as the probability of winning the electricity auction increases. This is harmful for competition and results in high consumer prices of electricity.
    Keywords: asymmetric procurement auctions; electricity markets; green certificates; renewable energy
    JEL: D43 D44 Q48
    Date: 2023–08–22

This nep-res issue is ©2023 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.