Valuing Water Purification Services of Forests: A Production Function Approach using Panel Data from China’s Sichuan Province 20-29

Submitted by Petra Hansson on 31 August 2020
EfD Authors:

The water purification functions of forests represent one of the most frequently invoked examples of non-market ecosystem services that are economically valuable. Yet, there has been a paucity of statistical estimates that robustly quantify such benefits. This study enriches this thin evidence base through valuing forests’ water purification services in the form of the ensuing cost savings of municipal drinking water treatment, using a rich panel dataset from China’s Sichuan province.

Forestry, Water

Distributional Statistics of Municipal Water Use During Cape Town’s Drought: Implications for Affordability, Conservation and Tariff Design 20-23

Submitted by Eugenia Leon on 7 July 2020

We calculate the first distributional statistics for municipal water supply deliveries using 14.9 million monthly billing records for a half-million households in Cape Town, South Africa, from 2014-2018. These years span a historic drought and a multi-faceted package of conservation programs that achieved a 50% city-wide drop in consumption. We find that the top 10% of households consumed 31% of water deliveries before the drought, with the Gini coefficient

Conservation, Water

Watering Down Environmental Regulation in China

Submitted by Hang Yin on 1 July 2020
EfD Authors:

This paper estimates the effect of environmental regulation on firm productivity using a spatial regression discontinuity design implicit in China’s water quality monitoring system. Because water quality readings are important for political evaluations, and the monitoring stations only capture emissions from their upstream regions, local government officials are incentivized to enforce tighter environmental standards on firms immediately upstream of a monitoring station, rather  than  those  immediately  downstream.