Indonesian news media showed great interest in a lecture given by Thomas Sterner at the second Annual Conference of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAAERE) at Bandung, Indonesia, on February 2-4. More than 20 news articles were published online, most of them about fuel subsidies, prices and taxes. The number of articles published in the printed press of Indonesia is not known.
This Briefing Report about the EfD Side-Event to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban 2011 is authored by Mark Purdon, University of Toronto/EfD Research Associate.
The Environmental Economics Unit (EEU) at the University of Gothenburg offers five full scholarships in a PhD programme in Climate Economics with admission September 2012. (Assuming the program will be financed). This program will be a continuation of the former program but with a heavier emphasis on Climate change as the prime environmental problem of our time.
Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics in University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a fellow at Resource for the Future (RFF), is invited to give a keynote lecture on “The Design of Environmental Policy Instrument: Efficiency, Informational Requirements and Political Feasibility”at the 2nd Annual Conference of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAAERE) at Bandung, Indonesia, on February 2-4, 2012.
This book by Thomas Sterner and Jessica Coria is an attempt to encourage more widespread and careful use of economic policy instruments. The book compares the accumulated experiences of the use of economic policy instruments in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in rich and poor countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ambitious in scope, it discusses the design of instruments that can be employed in any country in a wide range of contexts, including transportation, industrial pollution, water pricing, waste, fisheries, forests, and agriculture.
Fuel Taxes and the Poor challenges the conventional wisdom that gasoline taxation, an important and much-debated instrument of climate policy, has a disproportionately detrimental effect on poor people.
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) is accepting proposals for quality impact evaluations of social protection programmes.
Press release from University of Gothenburg, School of Business, Economics and Law, Environmental Economics unit, 24 May 2011
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2011-05-13
Thomas Sterner makes the latest addition to RFF policy commentary series with a piece on whether fuel taxes are indeed regressive. Raising fuel taxes could significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollution from the transportation sector. One of the prime arguments against raising fuel taxes is the perception that they are regressive — that they are more costly to the poor and other socioeconomic groups. But recent research suggests the opposite, particularly for developing countries.
A half day workshop was organized by EfD in Washington DC on April 21, 2011. Recent developments in forest management institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania were presented. EfD-Ethiopia coordinator, Dr. Alemu Mekonnen presented a paper on Household Forest Values under Varying Management Regimes in Ethiopia.
In his doctoral thesis, economist Nam Pham Khanh shows that people are generally willing to cooperate and that social influences strongly affect how much individuals choose to contribute to a shared resource. His research was featuring in a half-page article in the Science part of NRC Handelsblad, one of the major national newspapers in the Netherlands, April 13, 2011:
The Environment for Development initiative arranged a Forest Tenure Impact Evaluation Workshop on April 21, in connection to the World Bank’s annual conference on land and poverty in Washington D.C. on April 18-20. Recent developments in forest management institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania were reviewed during this workshop, and a potential impact evaluation program for forest tenure reform in East Africa was discussed. The workshop was held on Thursday April 21 and was open for all conference participants.
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2011-03-18
Increased Brazilian beef exports indirectly lead to deforestation in the Amazon region. The environmental effect is much larger than previously indicated, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and SIK published in Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers are demanding that indirect effects of land use changes be considered when estimating a product’s carbon footprint.
A climate tax corresponding to €60/ton CO2eq on meat and milk could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from European agriculture by around seven per cent. If the land made available is used for bioenergy production, the decrease in emissions can be six times greater. This is shown by the researchers Kristina Mohlin, Stefan Wirsenius and Fredrik Hedenus in an article published in the scientific journal Climatic Change.
Plans for the research program Human Cooperation to Manage Natural Resources were elaborated on January 17-19 at Indiana University in Bloomington. Project partners are Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom's research group at Indiana University, Resources for the Future in Washington, and the Environmental Economics Unit, University of Gothenburg.
Public disclosure of companies’ pollution habits has been an effective method of reducing pollution in many countries. Similarly, research has shown that people’s and firms’ propensity to contribute to public good increases if their contributions are made public. Economist Clara Villegas Palacio has studied the effects of different extents of public disclosure. Her findings reveal that the expected positive effect of disclosure can sometimes be crowded out by other factors at play.
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-12-18
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-10-29
The World Bank World Development Report 2010 to be presented at the University of Gothenburg on October 15
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-10-15
UN Expert Group Meeting: How can researchers contribute to productive and sustainable agriculture in Africa?
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-04-15
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2009-02-12
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2008-12-15
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2008-11-27
Press release from Environmental Economics Unit, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, 2008-06-18
Knowledge about soil can reduce damage to the environment and save lives. This is what environmental economist Anders Ekbom shows in his doctoral thesis on soil capital, land use and agricultural production in Kenya. Such knowledge is important for a large number of developing countries in Africa, Asia and Central America.
The objectives of this field study are: (1) to implement a set of experiments to investigate the effect of the one-child policy on; (2) to collect data of peoples’ back-ground and in particular if they were born right before or right after the policy was implemented. By implementing this experiment, it is possible to estimate the effect of the policy in a set of preferences such as cooperativeness, risk attitudes and time consistency.
This project about the congestion charge in Beijing is in three parts. Each part will look at different aspects of the congestion charge, one is on valuation of travel time, the other will analyse the effects of the congestion charge policy on different commuting modes and the experiment is on hypothetical bias and individuals stated preferences in transportation studies.
We will to conduct a large study about different interest groups´ preferences for improving situation for coastal cod stocks in Western Sweden. The different interest groups included in our study are policy makers, commercial fishers, recreational anglers, and common citizens.
This project is an attempt to better understand the effects of social networks on the diffusion and adoption of new technologies. In particular, we investigate if having friends or relative that had a chance to experience solar lanterns for their personal use increases an individual's willingness to pay for a solar lantern.
Our focus in this project is on the interactions between multiple eco-services programs, e.g., between: two offsets programs aimed to lower costs for different eco-services; two payments programs to increase different eco-services; or one offsets program and one payments program that are each targeting a different eco-service.
This research project will study if and how procedural fairness concerns affect coordination such as in the provision on threshold public goods. The provision of such goods can be modeled as a coordination game with several, non-pareto-rankable equilibria. Without any additional mechanisms, coordination on an efficient equilibrium has proven to be difficult: Who should contribute, and how much? For example, in the case where the contribution of one individual is enough to provide the public good: Who should be the volunteer?
In this project, we implement carefully designed field experiments in urban Tanzania to investigate if poor households do overweigh low-probability events. We also investigate time preference behaviors of the same subjects.
In this project, our research question is: What is the level of dishonesty in an anonymous natural field experiment and are norms activated that reduces the level of dishonesty from any of the two treatments? We conduct a natural field experiment and the subjects are Tanzanian farmers that were interviewed on farming activities and socio-economic conditions and participated in risk and time preference experiments.
The aim of this project is twofold. First, by testing the theory of strategic ignorance in real purchase decisions, we analyze whether the existing lab results are transferable to everyday decisions of consumers. Second, if evidence is found in favor of strategic ignorance, it can have important implications for environmental policy because it sheds light on the efficiency of information provision to consumers by using for example eco- labels and certifications.
Gender, labour and forest management in Burkina Faso: Understanding gendered impacts of REDD+ interventions
This project will analyze the gender differentiated effects (time allocation, resource access, income) of a large-scale REDD+ intervention in Burkina Faso and also feeding into the REDD+ policy process.
The project includes two studies. One project is on possible differences in subjective and objective risks in four different zones with different malaria exposure, and whether a person´s subjective risk can explain his/her use of bed nets. The other is on the problem of resistance in malaria medication.
In this research project EfD aims to draw lessons from land reforms in several Asian and African countries. The findings will be presented in a book edited by Professors Stein Holden and Keijiro Otsuka and titled "Land Reforms in Asia and Africa - Impacts on Poverty and Natural Resource Management".
Ethiopia’s forest cover is estimated at less than 4% of the total land area of about 1 million km2. The consequences of deforestation and forest degradation include reduced agricultural production and decreased household welfare. The Ethiopian government promulgated a forest proclamation and approved the first forest policy in 2007. In its recent comprehensive plan referred to as Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty (PASDEP), the government also indicated its plan to increase forest cover from about 4% to 9% over a period of five years. The reality on the ground suggests that there is continuing deforestation and mismanagement of existing forests. The government has acknowledged in its forestry laws and regulations that depletion of these resources have resulted in reduced agricultural productivity and subsequently reduced quality of life of the rural people. Moreover, frequent restructuring of the main government body responsible for natural resources in general and forestry in particular meant different levels of attention paid to the sector with its implications for staffing and continuity of programs.
The aim of the study is to identify the factors affecting the performance of local organizations compared to centralized institutions in the administration and operation of aqueducts in order to make recommendations for improvements and for the future expansion of the decentralization process in the drinking water sector.
The purpose of this paper, is to test the absolute as well the relative importance of anonymity, reciprocity and information of others contribution on voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica.
The project investigates the determinants of contributions (compulsory and voluntary) to national parks, understanding the motivations behind the contribution and how external factors influence the level of the contribution.
This project analyze the determinants of farmers adaptation to climate change using field experiments to reflect the main characteristics of damages associated with climate change under uncertainty, ambiguity , role of communication and monetary incentives.
Read about what EfD centers around the world have been up to during the last year in terms of research highlights and how our research relate to the Sustainable Development Goals.
This paper investigates direct and spillover effects of a social information campaign aimed at encouraging residential water savings in Colombia. The campaign was organized as a randomized field experiment, consisting of monthly delivery of consumption reports, including normative messages, for one year. Results indicate that social information and appeals to norm-based behavior reduce water use by up to 6.8% in households directly targeted by the campaign.
Difference in Preferences or Multiple Preference Orderings? Comparing Choices of Environmental Bureaucrats, Recreational Anglers, and the Public
Abstract Do Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bureaucrats represent the general public or are they more in line with an interest group? We study preferences for environmental policy using a choice experiment (CE) on three populations; the general public, Swedish EPA bureaucrats, and recreational anglers. We also test for existence of multiple preference orderings: Half of the respondents were asked to choose the alternatives that best corresponded with their opinion, and the other half was asked to take the role of a policy-maker and make recommendations for environmental policy. The SEPA bureaucrats have the highest marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) to improve environmental quality. Differences in MWTP are robust and not due to differences in socio-economic characteristics across the populations. We only found weak evidence of multiple preference orderings.
Context Matters: Exploring the Cost-effectiveness of Fixed Payments and Procurement Auctions for PES
Successfully implemented payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs can provide both conservation of nature and financial support to rural communities. In this paper, we explore how PES programs can be designed so as to maximize the amount of additional ecosystem services provided for a given budget. We also provide a brief summary of the use of auction mechanisms in real world PES programs.
A Contingent Valuation Approach to Estimating Regulatory Costs: Mexico's Day Without Driving Program
Little is known about the cost of environmental regulations that target households instead of firms, partly because of significant methodological and data challenges. We use the contingent valuation method to measure the costs of Mexico City’s Day without Driving program, which seeks to stem pollution and traffic congestion by prohibiting vehicles from being driven one day each week. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to focus directly on using stated preference methods to isolate and estimate the private costs of an existing environmental regulation.