Skip to main content

Commons: Governance

2014-07-01

Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

According to advocates, eco-certification can stem environmental damages from tourism in developing countries. Yet we know little about tourism operators’ economic incentives to get certified. To help fill that gap, we use detailed panel data to analyze the Blue Flag beach certification program in Costa Rica where nature-based tourism has caused significant environmental damage. We use new hotel investment to proxy for private benefits, and fixed effects and propensity score matching to control for self-selection bias.

2014-02-09

Voluntary environmental agreements in developing countries: the Colombian experience

Voluntary agreements (VAs) negotiated between environmental regulators and polluters are increasingly popular in developing countries. According to proponents, they can sidestep weak institutions and other pervasive barriers to conventional mandatory regulation in such countries. Yet little is known about the drivers of their use and their effectiveness in poor countries. The considerable literature on voluntary initiatives in industrialized countries, where both VAs and socioeconomic conditions differ, may not apply.

2013-12-24

Extracción de Recursos Naturales en Contextos de Abundancia y Escasez: Un Análisis Experimental sobre Infracciones a Cuotas en Áreas de Manejo y Explotación de Recursos Bentónicos en el Centro-Sur de Chile

Estudiamos, a través de un experimento económico de campo contextualizado, los efectos de cambios exógenos en los niveles de abundancia de un recurso natural renovable en las decisiones de cumplimiento individual de usuarios operando bajo un régimen de propiedad común y un sistema de derechos de uso territorial pesqueros (DUTPs), que considera cuotas de extracción y fiscalización externa para detectar y sancionar transgresiones.

2013-09-19

Evaluating forest conservation policies in developing countries using remote sensing data: An introduction and practical guide

Rigorous, objective evaluation of forest conservation policies in developing countries is needed to ensure that the limited financial, human, and political resources devoted to these policies are put to good use. Yet such evaluations remain uncommon. Recent advances in conservation best practices, the widening availability of high-resolution remotely sensed forest-cover data, and the dissemination of geographic information system capacity have created significant opportunities to reverse this trend.

2013-05-13

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—A multiple country test of an oath script

Hypothetical bias is one of the main issues bedeviling the field of nonmarket valuation. The general criticism is that survey responses reflect how people would like to behave, rather than how they actually behave. In our study of climate change and carbon emissions reductions, based on the increasing bulk of evidence from psychology and economics regarding the effects of making promises, we investigate the effect of an oath script in a contingent valuation survey.

2012-11-13

    Electricity provision with intermittent sources of energy

    We analyze the interaction between a reliable source of electricity production and intermittentsources such as wind or solar power. We first characterize the optimal energy mix, emphasizing the availability of the intermittentsource as a major parameter for the optimal investment in capacity.

    2012-02-22

    Natural Resource Management: Challenges and Policy Options

    Much of the improvement in living standards in developed and developing countries alike is attributable to the exploitation of nonrenewable and renewable resources. The problem is to know when the exploitation occurs at rates and with technologies that are sustainable.

    2012-02-22

      Reconnecting to the Biosphere

      Humanity has emerged as a major force in the operation of the biosphere, with a significant imprint on the Earth System, challenging social–ecological resilience. This new situation calls for a fundamental shift in perspectives, world views, and institutions. Human development and progress must be reconnected to the capacity of the biosphere and essential ecosystem services to be sustained.

      2012-01-31

        Advancing the diagnostic analysis of environmental problems

        Social-ecological systems exhibit patterns across multiple levels along spatial, temporal, and functional scales. The outcomes that are produced in these systems result from complex, non-additive interactions between different types of social and biophysical components, some of which are common to many systems, and some of which are relatively unique to a particular system. These properties, along with the mostly non-experimental nature of the analysis, make it difficult to construct theories regarding the sustainability of social-ecological systems. This paper builds on previous work that has initiated a diagnostic approach to the analysis of these systems.

        2012-01-24

        Taxes, permits and costly policy response to technological change

        In this paper, we analyze the effects of the choice of price (taxes) versus quantity (tradable permits) instruments on the policy response to technological change. We show that if policy responses incur transactional and political adjustment costs, environmental targets are less likely to be adjusted under tradable permits than under emission taxes. This implies that the total level of abatement over time might remain unchanged under tradable permits while it will increase under emission taxes.

        2012-01-24

        2011 RFF Activities in COMMONS research program

        This report, 2011 Resources for the Future (RFF) Activities in Human Cooperation to Manage Natural Resources (COMMONS) program funded by the Swedish Research Council, Formas, contains an introductory section, and four sections reporting on use of funds by Allen Blackman, Dallas Burtraw, Alan Krupnick, and Juha Siikamaki.

        2011-11-30

        What Drives Voluntary Eco-Certification in Mexico?

        Advocates claim that voluntary programs can help shore up poorly performing command-and-control environmental regulation in developing countries. Although literature on this issue is quite thin, research on voluntary environmental programs in industrialized countries suggests that they are sometimes ineffective because they mainly attract relatively clean plants free-riding on prior pollution control investments.

        2011-11-09

        Producer-level Benefits of Sustainability Certification

        Initiatives certifying that producers of goods and services adhere to defined environmental and social-welfare production standards are increasingly popular. According to proponents, these initiatives create financial incentives for producers to improve their environmental, social, and economic performance. We reviewed the evidence on whether these initiatives have such benefits.

        2011-05-23

        Health Impacts of Power-Exporting Plants in Northern Mexico

        In the past two decades, rapid population and economic growth on the U.S.–Mexico border has spurred a dramatic increase in electricity demand. In response, American energy multinationals have built power plants just south of the border that export most of their electricity to the United States. This development has stirred considerable controversy because these plants effectively skirt U.S. environmental air pollution regulations in a severely degraded international airshed.

        2011-02-14

        The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth: A Multiple-Country Test of an Oath Script

        Hypothetical bias is one of the main issues bedeviling the field of nonmarket valuation. The general criticism is that survey responses reflect how people would like to behave, rather than how they actually behave. In our study of climate change and emissions reductions, we took advantage of the increasing bulk of evidence from psychology and economics that addresses the effects of making promises, in order to investigate the effect of an oath script in a contingent valuation survey.

        2011-01-26

        Natural Resource Management: Challenges and Policy Options

        Much of the improvement in living standards in developed and developing countries alike is attributable to the exploitation of nonrenewable and renewable resources. The problem is to know when the exploitation occurs at rates and with technologies that are sustainable.

        2010-09-30

        The Progress of GHG Markets: Opportunities and Risks

        The purpose of this report is to build knowledge about the effects of the development of regional and international carbon markets and the auxiliary technology agreements that might be needed. Among the topics we address are: the evolution and integration of carbon markets, the impacts of policy and technology cost uncertainty on the cost of meeting targets through a carbon market mechanism, the effect of banking, price floors and ceilings, institutional constraints and technological change in the further development of carbon markets and their links to other environmental policy instruments, and the potential of REDD-plus to encourage sustainable forest development and climate mitigation.