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Fifth Chilean EfD Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Fourth Short Course to Policy Makers

Research Nucleus in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Concepción is organizing the Fifth Workshop on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics,  5th and 6th October 2017, and the Fourth Short course to policy makers on “Compliance and Enforcement of Environmental Policy and Management of Natural Resources”, 4th October 2017. It will take place at Termas de Catillo, Maule Region in Chile.

EAERE 2016, Zurich

The 22nd  Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, is taking place  Zurich from June 22-25, 2016. Remember deadline for early registration is April 29.    


Greening Africa’s growing cities

Africa’s cities growth might have kicked off a bit later than many other developing world countries, but they are growing fast. This presents an opportunity to do so in a way that creates ‘a more harmonious relationship between their natural and built environments. This is according to a new report by the World Bank, which concludes that ‘focused action is necessary’ in order to avoid ‘largely unchecked (negative) impacts on the natural environment, and the degradation of natural assets and ecosystems within African cities’.


Understanding gender relations crucial when dealing with the ”killer in the kitchen”

Effective kitchen stoves that use less firewood and emit fewer greenhouse gases are both cheap and available to the rural population in many developing countries. But the demand for the stove is low. From his field study in Ethiopia, economist Sied Hassen at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, draws the conclusion that the bargaining power in the household is the key for understanding the adoption of more effective stoves.


EEPFE Research Fellow Presents a Paper on Water, Climate Change, and Health

EEPFE Director and senior research fellow, Dr. Alemu Mekonnen presents a paper entitled, “Ethiopia Climate Strategy and a relevant research agenda” at the workshop on Water, Climate Change, and Health organized by Duke University (USA) with support from Addis Ababa University, the Environmental Economics Policy Forum for Ethiopia (EEPFE) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on January 16, 2014 at ILRI Campus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Traffic congestion charges: prices are more effective than restrictions

The citizens of Gothenburg, Sweden will vote soon on whether to continue the already up-and-running congestion charge. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that congestion charges are indeed a better way to reduce traffic and improve air quality. The doctoral thesis from the School of Business, Economics and Law shows that in Bogota, Colombia drastic driving restrictions have not been effective, while congestion charges besides cutting traffic, as it has happened in Stockholm, may be also used to achieve the European air quality goals.  


Cleaning the air: good policies against bad air quality?

Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, is located in the Aburrá Valley and exhibits the lowest level of air quality of the country due to PM2.5 (IDEAM, 2016).The topographic characteristics, meteorological conditions and anthropogenic emissions facilitate pollutant accumulation in the air of the Aburrá Valley.


The provision of basic service delivery on well-being: Empirical case studies

Access to basic services and more generally service delivery are hot topics in the current South African political climate with the lack of services being a common cause of spontaneous public protest and rioting. The table below gives an indication of the extent of the lack of services, by race, in Cape Town – one of the study areas of the project. 


A malaria project in Kenya

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.


    A Global Assessment of Non-Tariff Customer Assistance Rrograms in Water Supply and Sanitation

    A key strategy for adapting to changing water availability and rapid urbanization is a move towards full cost recovery tariffs for water and sanitation services. Because these services are substantially underpriced in most places, this strategy implies that careful attention must be directed at programs to help the poor manage water affordability. In this paper, we systematize these “customer assistance programs” (CAPs) by defining their major elements and develop a typology that highlights the connection between CAPs and water scarcity.


    Global Chemicals Outlook II: From Legacies to Innovative Solutions

    The Global Chemicals Outlook II – From Legacies to Innovative Solutions: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, mandated by the UN Environment Assembly in 2016, seeks to alert policymakers and other stakeholders to the critical role of the sound management of chemicals and waste in sustainable development. It takes stock of global trends as well as progress made and gaps in achieving the global goal to minimize the adverse impacts from chemicals and waste by 2020.


    The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality: New Evidence from Multiple Chinese Cities

    Automobiles are a major contributor to pervasive urban air quality problems. Partly to reduce these air quality problems, China has invested heavily in urban subway systems. This paper provides the first comprehensive estimates of the effects of these investments on urban air quality. The analysis uses a unique data set that combines hourly air quality data, daily meteorological data, and characteristics of cities for all major subway projects between 2013 and 2014 in China.


    The Impact of Multiple Climate Smart Practices on Gender Differentiated Nutrition Outcomes: Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia

    Since the beginning of the decade, climate resilient green economy strategies have been proposed in many African countries. One of the pillars of the strategies is the adoption and diffusion of various climate smart agricultural practices for improving crop and livestock production and farmer income while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of these innovations on household nutritional security, including gender-differentiated nutritional status, have hardly been analyzed.


    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.


    Is the War on Drugs Working? Examining the Colombian Case Using Micro Data

    The intense debate on the effectiveness of the war on drugs contrasts with the scarce quantitative evidence on its impacts on drug cultivation decisions by individual producers. Using panel data from an original survey of farmers living in coca-growing areas in Colombia, we evaluate the effectiveness of forced eradication policies implemented between 2000 and 2005. We find that one additional hectare eradicated decreases coca supply by 0.44 hectares, indicating that coca can only be eradicated at a very high cost.


      Modelling the Effect of Chronic Wasting Disease on Recreational Hunting Site Choice Preferences and Choice Set Formation over Time

      Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects deer, elk and other cervid wildlife species. Although there is no known link between the consumption of CWD affected meat and human health, hunters are advised to have animals from CWD affected areas tested and are advised against consuming meat from CWD infected animals (Government of Alberta 2010).


      Gender Differences in Health Expenditure of Rural Cancer Patients: Evidence from a Public Tertiary Care Facility in India

      This paper investigates if there are gender differences in health expenditures and treatment seeking behavior among cancer patients and finds that the results are consistent with gender discrimination. Using a survey on rural patients suffering from cancer in a public tertiary health center in an Indian state Odisha, the study finds that expenditures on female patients are significantly lesser than those on males. Even after controlling for other covariates, in particular the type of cancer, demographic and socio-economic variables, 73% of the difference persists.


      Naturally Available Pollinator Decline Will Decrease Household Food Security and Increase the Gender Gap in Nutrition between Men and Women Who Head Smallholder Farm Households in Sub-Saharan Africa

      This multi-country analysis studies the food security implications of natural pollinator populations in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers rely on wild pollinators in the absence of commercial pollination services. The study specifies daily intake of energy, macro-nutrients, minerals and vitamins per household member, and identify differences in pollinator dependence in male- and female-headed households. Four key observations emerge. First, smallholder farm households produce a menu of food crops.


        Explaining environmental health behaviors: Evidence from rural India on the influence of discount rates

        The authors examine whether high personal discount rates help explain why and which households in developing countries under-invest in seemingly low-cost options to avert environmental health threats, including bednets, clean cooking fuels, individual household latrines, water treatment and handwashing. First, the authors elicit personal discount rates by combining a simple randomized experiment with detailed surveys of over 10,000 rural households in Maharashtra, India. Personal discount rates are lower for women, for better-off households, and for households who can access formal credit.


        Perceptions of caretakers with different socioeconomic status about the harmful outcomes of fever in under-five children in Dodoma region, central Tanzania: A cross-sectional study

        Background: Socioeconomic status can affect health in childhood through many different pathways. Evidence on how households differ with regard to socioeconomic status and the degree to which this difference is associated with investment in child health is essential to the design of appropriate intervention strategies.


        The Impact of Climate Change on Food Calorie Production and Nutritional Poverty: Evidence from Kenya

        We investigate the effects of climate variables on food and nutrition security and the probability of a household being food and nutrition insecure. Panel data methods from three waves of the Tegemeo Institute Household survey data (2004, 2007, and 2010) are used. Climate change is measured by long-term averages of temperature and rainfall, all measured at the peak precipitation month and extreme values of the Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI).


        Catastrophic Health Expenditure and household Impoverishment: a Case of Prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases in Kenya

        Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have become one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Kenya. Their claim on financial and time resources adversely affects household welfare. Households predominantly pay healthcare costs for NCDs in Kenya as Out of Pocket expenditure (OOP). Health expenditure on NCDs stands at 6.2% of total health expenditure, which is 0.4% of the total gross domestic product of the country. This expenditure scenario has implications on household welfare through catastrophic expenditure in Kenya.


        Prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases and Social Interactions in Kenya: An Empirical Analysis

        Despite a remarkable progress in the control and management of communicable diseases over the past century, the world is not better-off as the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) is on the increase, both in developed and developing countries. The upsurge in NCD prevalence is attributable to risk factors both outside and within the control of individuals. One risk factor that has received less attention than it deserves is the social interactions variable.


        Economic Effects of Non-Communicable Diseases on Household Income in Kenya: A Comparative Analysis Perspective

        Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have been on the increase in Kenya over the past decade. This rising trend has led NCDs to account for over 30% of the annual total disease-related deaths in the country. Between 2005 and 2009, major NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory ailments and diabetes) accounted for over half of the top 20 causes of disease-related deaths in Kenya.


        The Costs of Coping with Poor Water Supply in Rural Kenya

        As the disease burden of poor access to water and sanitation declines around the world, the non-health benefits – mainly the time burden of water collection – will likely grow in importance in sector funding decisions and investment analyses. We measure the coping costs incurred by households in one area of rural Kenya. Sixty percent of the 387 households interviewed were collecting water outside the home, and household members were spending an average of two to three hours doing so per day.


        Nitrogen oxide emissions and productive structure in Spain: An input–output perspective

        We analyse the nitrogen oxide gas emissions of different productive sectors in Spain. Using input–output analysis, we study all sectors as subsystems of the economy and decompose into different components the total (direct and indirect) emissions generated by their final demand. This analysis provides guidance on the type of policies that should be developed in the different sectors with the aim of mitigating nitrogen oxide emissions. Some sectors that seem less important when looking at their direct emissions turn out to be highly relevant in terms of their total emissions.


          Nitrogen oxide emissions and productive structure in Spain: An input–output perspective

          We analyse the nitrogen oxide gas emissions of different productive sectors in Spain. Using input–output analysis, we study all sectors as subsystems of the economy and decompose into different components the total (direct and indirect) emissions generated by their final demand. This analysis provides guidance on the type of policies that should be developed in the different sectors with the aim of mitigating nitrogen oxide emissions. Some sectors that seem less important when looking at their direct emissions turn out to be highly relevant in terms of their total emissions.


          NOx emissions and productive structure in Spain: An input–output perspective

          We analyse the NOx gas emissions of different productive sectors in Spain. Using input–output analysis, we study all sectors as subsystems of the economy and classify them according to the explanatory factors of their total (direct and indirect) emissions. This classification provides guidance on the type of policies that should be developed in the different sectors with the aim of mitigating NOx emissions. Some sectors that seem less important when looking at their direct emissions turn out to be highly relevant in terms of their total emissions.


          Impact of Smoking on Food Expenditure among Tanzanian Households

          This study considers the effect of household tobacco expenditure on food consumption in Tanzania. The study hypothesizes that the majority of Tanzanians belong to a low-income group and that any expenditure on cigarettes or tobacco is at the expense of basic necessities, especially food. To verify this hypothesis, we first compared various expenditure patterns as well as household size of nonsmokers and smokers.


          Impact of Smoking on Nutrition and the Food Poverty Level in Tanzania

          This study considers the effect of household cigarette expenditure on food poverty indicators in Tanzania. We first compare expenditure patterns as well as the household size of non-smokers and smokers. We find that the majority of non-smokers and smokers have low incomes, and that the mean total per capita expenditure (proxy for income) of non-smokers is slightly higher than those of smokers.


          The Demand for Cigarettes in Tanzania and Implications for Tobacco Taxation Policy

          The study attempts to estimate the demand for cigarettes in Tanzania and presents simulation results on the effect of the cigarette excise tax on smoking participation, government revenue, and related topics. After briefly summarizing the magnitude and spread of cigarette consumption in the country, the paper reviews some empirical estimates from African and other countries. The 2008 Tanzanian household budget survey was used to estimate the demand for cigarettes in Tanzania.


          Spatial Distribution of Coal-Fired Power Plants in China

          Coal has fueled China’s fast growth in the last decades, but it also severely pollutes the air and causes many health issues. The magnitude of the health damage caused by air pollution depends on the location of emission sources. In this paper, we look into the spatial distribution of coal-fired power plants, the major emission sources in China, and investigate the determining factors behind the distribution. We see an overall increase in installed coal-fired power capacity in recent years, with capacity leaps in some provinces.


          People at risk of influenza pandemics: The evolution of perception and behavior

          Influenza pandemics can severely impact human health and society. Understanding public perception and behavior toward influenza pandemics is important for minimizing the effects of such events. Public perception and behavior are expected to change over the course of an influenza pandemic, but this idea has received little attention in previous studies. Our study aimed to understand the dynamics of public perception and behavior over the course of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.


          Mind, Behaviour and Health A Randomised Experiment

          Behavioural attitudes toward risk and time, as well as behavioural biases such as present bias, are thought to be important drivers of unhealthy lifestyle choices. This paper makes the first attempt to explore the possibility of training the mind to alter these attitudes and biases, in particular health-related behaviors, using a randomized controlled experiment. The training technique we consider is a well-known psychological technique called \mindfulness", which is believed to improve self-control and reduce stress.


          An Analysis of Costs and Health Co-Benefits for a U.S. Power Plant Carbon Standard

          Abstract: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants can have important "co-benefits" for public health by reducing emissions of air pollutants. Here, we examine the costs and health co-benefits, in monetary terms, for a policy that resembles the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. We then examine the spatial distribution of the co-benefits and costs, and the implications of a range of cost assumptions in the implementation year of 2020.


          The Impact of Safety Nets on Technology Adoption: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis

          This paper contributes to a growing body of empirical literature relating credit constraints and incomplete insurance to investment decisions. We use panel data from rural Ethiopia to investigate whether participation in a safety net program enhances fertilizer adoption. Using a difference-in-difference estimator and inverse propensity score weighting, we found that participation in Ethiopia's food-for-work (FFW) program increased fertilizer adoption. Results also


          Water Demand by Unconnected Urban Households in Rwanda

          Abstract: In this paper, we analyze water demand by urban households in Rwanda who currently lack a piped connection into their home. The analysis uses data from a cross-sectional survey. The results show that public taps are the most widely used water source and that the demand for water from this source is more inelastic than that for water from other water sources. Although some households combine different sources of water, the majority in the sample uses only one source.


          Gendered food security in rural Malawi: why is women's food security status lower?

          Abstract: Gendered food security gaps between female- and male-headed households (FHHs and MHHs) can be decomposed into two sets of components: those explained by observable differences in levels of resource use, and those due to unobserved differences affecting the returns to the resources used. Employing exogenous switching ordered probit and binary probit regression models, this paper examines the gendered food security gap and its causes in rural Malawi.


          Health shocks and natural resource management: Evidence from Western Kenya

          Abstract: Poverty and altered planning horizons brought on by the HIV/AIDS epidemic can change individual discount rates, altering incentives to conserve natural resources. Using longitudinal household survey data from Western Kenya, we estimate the effects of health status on investments in soil quality, as indicated by households’ agricultural land fallowing decisions.


          What Determines Gender Inequality in Household Food Security in Kenya? Application of Exogenous Switching Treatment Regression

          Abstract: This paper explores the link between the gender of a household head and food security in rural Kenya. The results show that the food security gap between male-headed households (MHHs) and female-headed households (FHHs) is explained by their differences in observable and unobservable characteristics. FHHs’ food security status would have been higher than it is now if the returns (coefficients) on their observed characteristics had been the same as the returns on the MHHs’ characteristics.


          Climate Change and Food Security in Kenya Does Climate Change Affect Food Insecurity in Kenya?

          The research analyzes the impact of climate change (including increased variability and less predictability of temperature and rainfall) on food security in Kenya. The study is based on county-level data, collected over time, for yields of four major crops (maize, beans, sorghum and millet), four climate variables (precipitation, temperature, runoff and total cloud cover), population, soil and agro-ecological zones data spanning over three decades. The paper estimates models of main food crop yields and also of the probability of a county being food insecure.


          Multiple and Concurrent Sex Partnerships and Social Norms: Young Adults’ Sexual Relationships in the Metropolitan Communities of Cape Town, South Africa

          Even though antiretroviral treatment is becoming more efficient and available, new HIV infections still occur, and this is particularly evident in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Heterosexual intercourse is still the main mode of HIV transmission in the region, and multiple and concurrent sex partners are arguably crucial for the spread of the epidemic.