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EEPC Highlights of the Autumn Term 2016

Unique contribution to energy policy-making, quality and quantity of academic publications at a record high, and impressive appearances at international and local academic events are amongst the EEPC headlines of the Autumn Term 2016 (September 2016 – January 2017). We compressed some of these memorable moments into this news story.  


Request for concept notes to develop collaborative multi-site research projects

SETI ( invites concept notes to seed collaborative research related to energy transitions. We particularly welcome proposals for work related to the SETI priority themes, including: Consequences of energy poverty, defined as a lack of reliable access to electricity and other modern fuels Drivers of the energy transition in low- and middle-income contexts, including lessons from past experiences Impacts of energy transitions at various scales (households, firms, and the regional and global environment) Policy levers and solutions to speed the energy transition; and analysis of their effectiveness Notable gaps in research on energy transitions


New book on Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa

"This very readable book on Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa looks at different countries’ strategies to use tenure innovations to manage forest resources. An especially interesting contribution is the comparison of China’s privatization of forest rights to the community-based forestry management approach in other developing countries," says Peter Berck, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, S.J. Hall Professor of Forestry, University of California, Berkeley, USA.


EfD Director Jintao Xu invited as a panelist in the UN Climate Summit 2014

Professor Jintao Xu, Director of EfD China/Environmental Economics Program in China (EEPC) and Senior Research Fellow, was invited as a panelist on the UN Climate Summit 2014  on September 23, 2014 on the thematic discussion session focusing on Climate, health and jobs and Economic Case for Action.  Click below or this link: to watch the video from United Nations Webcast. Professor Jintao Xu speaks after 33 minutes.


Can Forest Tenure Reform Reduce The Inequality?

Huang Zhumei presented a paper entitled "Faced with serious inequality in rural China, can Forest Tenure Reform Reduce The Inequality?" on Sep 13, 2013 at the EfD Seminar Seriies organized by Environmental Economics Program in China, Peking University.


The first Energy Workshop held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Research on energy demand in developing countries is important for many reasons. The existing widespread use of solid energy sources (e.g. fuelwood, dung, charcoal, coal, leaves, twigs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in the developing world in general, has a number of environmental implications. Deforestation, disturbance in watersheds, indoor air pollution and loss of biodiversity are some to mention. On the other hand, climbing the “energy ladder” has implications for greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, understanding the pattern of household energy demand and its implications on the environment is crucial to formulate appropriate energy policies that affect household welfare, local environment and climate change.


Forest Tenure Impact Evaluation Workshop at World Bank completed

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.


Asian Experiences on Forest Tenure and Regulatory Reforms

Since 2005, China has taken more bold moves in building institutional foundation for a more secure community and household tenure system improving forest governance. Facing with great challenges ahead and considering what form of grievance redress mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that the forest institutions deliver the outcomes, EEPC, co-sponsored by Rights and Resources Initiative and State Forest Administration, PR. China, has organized the Conference on Forest Tenure and Regulatory Reforms: Experiences, Lessons and Future Steps in Asia on September 24-25, 2010.


EfD focuses on China’s topical forest policy

”It has been widely acknowledged that lack of appropriate mechanisms and incentives in the state forest sector, as well as lack of secure forest tenure for farmers in the collective forest sector, underpin severe poverty in forested areas and unsatisfactory performance of forest resource conservation", says Professor Jintao Xu, the coordinator of EfD in China and one of China’s most prominent experts in forestry economics.


Chinese Residential Energy Consumption Survey (CRECS)

The aim of this project is to understand the characteristics and the driving factors of Chinese residential energy consumption. The data are collected by annual surveys from 2014 through 2016.  The information covered includes: household characteristics, types of household energy, household energy use and expenditure.


Shifting Households in China from Black Energy to Greener Energy

As the largest coal consumer in the world, China is bothered by severe air pollutants emitted from coal combustion. Along with the regulation of industrial emission, emission from household coal use outstands in the contribution to air pollution. Policies addressing household coal use are issued, but their effects on coal use and social welfare are not clear yet.


Air quality and household welfare in Asian mega-cities

The goal of this project is to generate evidence on households' willingness to pay (WTP) for improved air quality in urban Asia. This evidence is both critically important and timely because numerous cities in Asia now have alarming levels of air pollution.


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

In this project, we investigate the effect of urban rail transit expansions in Chinese cities on air quality. We also compare the magnitude of effects across cities and identify the factors behind the potentially heterogeneous effects. By identifying these factors, this project is expected to help policy makers predict the effects of potential new rail systems or expansions on air pollution.


Building a Forest Sector Model for China: Analysis of Domestic and International Impact of Forest Policy Change

The Objectives of this project are two folds.  One is to establish the Spatial Equilibrium Model (SEM) for China’s domestic wood product markets that links domestic and international policy changes to demand, supply and trade of forest products in China. The other is to make forecast of forest products trade (including changes in demand, supply, imports and exports) in China, triggered by potential policy changes such as the ending of the “Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP)”, implementation of the “Collective Forest Tenure Reform” and “Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP)”.  China’s policy makers and international community will be better informed with policy assessment tool like this.  


Automobile demand analysis in Beijing

The overall goal of this research is to: (1) Evaluate the externality costs from transportation in terms of congestion and vehicle emissions (2) Analyze the factors that influence individual’s transportation mode choice (in vehicle time, out vehicle time, automobile ownership et al) (3) Analyze the vehicle factors that influence in individual’s vehicle purchase decision (price, fuel consumption, size et al)? We believe the case study of Beijing will yield insights more generally transferable to scholar and practitioner theories about the role of environmental policy instrument in reducing negative externality in the field of urban transportation. 


Estimating external costs of transportation in Beijing - air pollution costs and congestion costs

This project aims at (1) Documenting  the  main  urban transportation challenges in China, public  policies in this field, and evaluating the effectiveness of these policies; (2) Improving the assessment of  transportation externality costs in China (with a focus on Beijing) based on a large scale urban household survey and a proper estimation methodology; (3) Developing an analytical and empirical framework which links private automobile ownership and behavioural transportation modal choice to enhance the understanding of individual’s travel demand choice, automobile purchase and use decisions; (4) Building capacities in China based on quantative and qualitative assessments of  decision-making process in transportation policies to reach a better understanding of alternative policy instruments for reducing negative externalities from urban transportation.


The Value of Automobile Travel Time and Its Congestion Policy Implications

The overall objective of the study is to provide the value of time estimates for automobile users on a congested road using a stated preference survey. The purpose of this study is to obtain the public preferences for time savings on a congested road, which we believe could provide important policy inputs for ongoing congestion pricing discussions in Beijing.


One-child policy in China

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.


Travel mode choice and impact of fuel tax in Beijing

As an international metropolitan area undergoing rapid development, Beijing is facing a sharp rise in the volume ofmotor vehicles andmobility,which has become the major contributor to the air pollution in this city. This is evident in the recent ranking of Beijing as the most congested as well as the most polluted city in the world by the Millennium Cities Database.


A Behavior Model of Transport Mode Choices in Beijing

Beijing’s rapid economic growth in recent years has induced enormous transportation demand. Nowadays, congestion and air pollution caused by increasing use of cars are perceived as some of the most pressing problems in Beijing.


Forest Tenure in Collective-owned Forest

This project aims at finishing surveying in 8-10 provinces, establishing a comprehensive database and building an equilibrium model with capacity to analyze Supply, Demand, Trade and Policy Change.


Resource Scarcity Can Help Improve Local Cooperation

This study examines the effect of long-term resource scarcity on cooperation, measured by both the irrigation management practices and a lab-in-the-field experiment. We find that greater water scarcity not only leads to better irrigation management practices and outcomes, but also fosters a stronger norm of cooperation among villagers. Our findings imply that, when facing the pressure of increasing scarcity, it is possible for local people to cooperate and provide effective collective action in resource management.


Urban Rail Transit Can Improve Air Quality: New Evidence from Chinese Cities

In this research, we investigate whether urban rail transit expansion improves air quality. We also compare the magnitudes of the effects across cities and explain the variation. The results suggest that opening subways alleviated air pollution, especially during non-rush hours in the daytime. We find that the effects are smaller in the cities with higher income and more subway lines, while the effects are larger in the cities with higher population density. Furthermore, the effect of the first subway line opening is stronger, compared to expansion of an existing subway system.


On the Use of Market-Based Instruments to Reduce Air Pollution in Asia

The high rates of economic activity and environmental degradation in Asia demand the implementation of creative and cost-effective environmental policy instruments that provide polluters with more flexibility to find least-cost solutions to pollution reduction. Despite their many theoretical advantages, the use of market-based instruments (MBIs) is a relatively recent phenomenon in Asia, partly due to policymakers being unfamiliar with MBIs and countries lacking the institutional capacity to implement and enforce them.


Using electricity prices to curb industrial pollution

In this study, we show that changes in electricity prices in China have significant environmental consequences through its effect on industrial pollution emissions concentrations. To investigate this relationship, we pair a novel dataset of hourly smokestack-level pollutant emissions of industrial plants in Anhui, China with changes in hourly electricity prices. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) regression model, we find that pollution emissions from these plants have an inverse relationship with electricity prices.