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Policy evaluation

2014-08-15

The Environment for Development Initiative: lessons learned in research, academic capacity building and policy intervention to manage resources for sustainable growth

This article reviews the history of the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, its activities in capacity building and policy-oriented research, and case studies at its centres in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

2014-05-21

Community-based wildlife management failing to link conservation and financial viability

Given the considerable popularity of community-based wildlife management as a conservation tool, it is of interest to assess the long-run sustainability of this policy not only in conservation terms, but also in financial terms. In this paper, we use cost–benefit analysis to study the social and financial sustainability of a large set of community conservancies in Namibia, one of the few countries where community-based wildlife management policies have been in place long enough to assess their long-term viability.

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.

2013-11-23

Environmental Policy in the Presence of an Informal Sector

We demonstrate how the presence of an untaxed informal sector can sharply lower the cost of environmental and energy tax policy. The mechanism involves substitution between formal and informal labor supply: energy or environmental taxes can improve the efficiency of the tax system by drawing activity into the formal sector.

2013-09-01

Will a Driving Restriction Policy Reduce Car Trips? A Case Study of Beijing, China

A driving restriction policy, as a control-and-command rationing measure, is a politically acceptable policy tool to address traffic congestion and air pollution in some countries and cities. Beijing was the first city in China to implement this policy. A one-day-a-week driving restriction scheme was expected to take 20 percent of cars off the road every weekday.

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.

2013-03-22

    Environmental Regulation and Public Disclosure

    This book is a remarkable case study of an environmental policy initiative for a national environmental regulatory system in the information age. In 1995 the Indonesian Ministry of Environment took the bold step to launch an environmental disclosure initiative called the Program for Pollution Control, Evaluation and Rating (PROPER). Under PROPER, environmental performance of companies is mapped into a five-color grading scale – Gold for excellent, Green for very good, Blue for good, Red for non-compliance, and Black for causing environmental damage. These ratings are then publicly disclosed through a formal press conference and posted on the internet. Not only did this simple rating scheme create a major media buzz and enhanced environmental awareness of the general public, but it also unleashed a wide range of performance incentives that showed how markets with environmental information could function in a developing country setting.

    2012-11-28

      General Resilience to Cope with Extreme Events

      Resilience to specified kinds of disasters is an active area of research and practice. However, rare or unprecedented disturbances that are unusually intense or extensive require a more broad-spectrum type of resilience.

      2012-07-09

        Decoupling: is there a separate contribution from environmental taxation?

        The term decoupling refers to breaking the link between ‘environmental bads’ and ‘economic goods.’ Decoupling environmental pressures from economic growth is one of the main objectives of the OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century, adopted by OECD Environment Ministers in 2001.

        2012-06-01

        Policy Instruments for Sustainable Development at Rio +20

        Twenty years ago, governments gathered for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The “Rio Declaration” laid out several principles of sustainable development, including the central role of policy instruments. In this article, we take stock of where we stand today in implementing sound and effective environmental policy instruments throughout the world, particularly in developing and transitional economies.

        2012-02-24

        Green Growth in the Post-Copenhagen Climate Energy Policy

        Global climate change stands out from most environmental problems because it will span generations and force us to think in new ways about intergenerational fairness. It involves the delicate problem of complex coordination between countries on a truly global scale. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, climate change policy will engage all major economies.

        2012-02-15

        Distributional effects of taxing transport fuel

        This paper takes as its starting point the observation that fuel prices – and thus taxes – are important for good management of climate change and other environmental problems. To economists this should be no surprise yet it seems that the role of fuel taxation as an instrument of climate policy has not been fully appreciated. It is however one of the few policy instruments that, since several decades, has actually reduced fuel consumption appreciably.

        2011-12-09

        The future of oil in a carbon constrained world

        Global climate is changing. This fact is supported by robust scientific evidence, and there is no real doubt that the main reason is the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by human activity, primarily related to the combustion of fossil fuels.

        2011-12-08

        Fuel Taxes and the Poor

        Fuel Taxes and the Poor,The Distributional Effects of Gasoline Taxation and Their Implications for Climate Policy, challenges the conventional wisdom that gasoline taxation, an important and much-debated instrument of climate policy, has a disproportionately detrimental effect on poor people.

        2011-10-24

        A Fair Share - Burden-Sharing Preferences in the United States and China

        Using a choice experiment, we investigated preferences for distributing the economic burden of decreasing CO2 emissions in the two largest CO2-emitting countries: the United States and China. We asked respondents about their preferences for four burden-sharing rules to reduce CO2 emissions according to their country’’s 1) historical emissions, 2) income level, 3) equal right to emit per person, and 4) current emissions.

        2011-05-02

        Paying for Mitigation: A Multiple Country Study

        Unique survey data from a contingent valuation study conducted in three different countries (China, Sweden, and the United States) were used to investigate the ordinary citizen’s willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing CO2 emissions. We found that a large majority of the respondents in all three countries believe that the mean global temperature has increased over the last 100 years and that humans are responsible for the increase.

        2011-04-15

        Engagements volontaires et croissance verte dans l’ère d’après Copenhague

        Hopes for a climate deal were mercilessly shattered at Copenhagen and each of the successive COPs since then. One result is that “green growth” is promoted almost as if it were an alternative path. Obviously, green growth is in fact the goal, but the phrase is not a magic wand. The world economy will require tough policy instruments to become green — and it is naïve to think otherwise.

        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.

        2011-01-31

        Decoupling: Is there a Separate Contribution from Environmental Taxation

        Decoupling is a crucial topic in the analysis of sustainable development. Without decoupling, continuing and increasing economic growth in developed and developing countries would come with ever increasing environmental pressures, unavoidably destroying the carrying capacity of ecosystems with corresponding detrimental effects on the environment and societies.

        2010-06-09

        On the interaction between imperfect compliance and technology adoption: taxes versus tradable emissions permits

        This paper analyzes the effects of the interaction between technology adoption and incomplete enforcement on the extent of violations and the rate of abatement technology adoption. We focus on price-based and quantity-based emission regulations. First, we show that in contrast to uniform taxes, under tradable emissions permits (TEPs), the fall in permit price produced by technology adoption reduces the benefits of violating the environmental regulation at the margin and leads firms to modify their compliance behavior.

        2010-06-04

        Paying for Mitigation: A Multiple Country Study

        Unique survey data from a contingent valuation study conducted in three different countries (China, Sweden, and the United States) were used to investigate the ordinary citizen’s willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing CO2 emissions. We found that a large majority of the respondents in all three countries believe that the mean global temperature has increased over the last 100 years and that humans are responsible for the increase.

        2009-09-29

        Which Firms are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Schemes for Pollution Control? Evidence from Indonesia’s PROPER Program

        This paper analyzes differences in firms’ responsiveness to PROPER, Indonesia’s public disclosure program for industrial pollution control. The overall effectiveness of this program at achieving emissions reductions and its low regulatory costs have earned it a good reputation around the world. PROPER had no deterrents or incentives other than those that arose indirectly from publicly disclosing information about the environmental performances of firms.

        2008-06-19

        Production Function Analysis of Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Tropical Agriculture

        This paper integrates traditional economic variables, soil properties, and variables on soil conservation technologies to estimate agricultural output among small-scale farmers in Kenya’s central highlands. The study finds that integrating traditional economics and soil science is invaluable, especially as omitting measures of soil capital can cause omitted-variable bias. The central policy implication is that while fertilizers are generally beneficial, their application is a complex art, and more is not necessarily better.

        2008-04-08

        What Kinds of Firms Are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Programs for Pollution Control? The Case of Indonesia’s PROPER Program

        Analysis of the differences in firms’ responsiveness to PROPER (Indonesia’s successful public disclosure program for industrial pollution control) showed that foreign-owned firms and firms in densely populated areas were more likely to respond to public environmental ratings. Firms with bad environmental performances felt pressure to improve, but this incentive diminished after the initial abatement steps.

        2007-12-15

        Are demand elasticities affected by politically determined tax levels?

        Raising the price of fossil fuels is a key component of any effective policy to deal with climate change. Just how effective such policies are is decided by the price elasticities of demand. Many papers have studied this without recognising that not only is there a demand side response: quantities are decided by the price but also there is a reverse causality: the level of consumtion affects the political acceptability of the taxes which are the main component of the final price. Thus prices affect consumption levels, in turn, have an affect on taxes and thus consumer prices. This paper estimates these functions simultaneously to show that there is indeed an effect on the demand elasticity.

        2003-03-01

        Environmental Taxes in Europe

        This paper provides an overview and a discussion of environmental taxes in Europe. On the whole, most European countries have fairly high levels of environmental taxation – at least compared to the US.

        2013-10-30

        EPRU hosted EfD Policy Day 2013 in Cape Town

        On Wednesday 23 October, EPRU hosted the EfD Policy day at Commodore Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa. The policy day brought together policy makers from various governmental levels, practitioners, NGOs, international and national researchers.

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