Found 31 article(s) for author 'environmental policy'

Carbon Taxes vs. Cap and Trade: Theory and Practice

Carbon Taxes vs. Cap and Trade: Theory and Practice. Robert Stavins, November 2019, Paper, “There is widespread agreement among economists – and a diverse set of other policy analysts – that, at least in the long run, an economy-wide carbon-pricing system will be an essential element of any national policy that can achieve meaningful reductions of CO2 emissions costeffectively in the United States and many other countries. There is less agreement, however, among economists and others in the policy community regarding the choice of specific carbon-pricing policy instrument, with some supporting carbon taxes and others favoring cap-and-trade mechanisms. How do the two major approaches to carbon pricing compare on relevant dimensions, including but not limited to efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and distributional equity? This paper addresses this question by drawing on theories of policy instrument choice pertaining to the attributes – or merits – of the instruments. The paper also draws on relevant empirical evidence. It concludes with a look at the path ahead.Link

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Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas

Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas. Richard Freeman, October 3, 2019, Paper, “In this paper, we examine how two regionally implemented environmental initiatives in China have impacted the innovation ability of Chinese-listed firms. The regional implementation of these policies, with non-policy regions serving as controls, offers researchers the perfect conditions for a natural experiment. Using research and development (R&D) expenditures and patents as a proxy for innovativeness, we compare the record of innovation of firms inside the policy zones with firms outside the policy zones. We use a Difference-In-Difference-In-Differences (DIDID) method to eliminate endogeneity and take the quality of the patents into account by incorporating sub-items. Results show only one of the regulations had a positive effect and that low quality patents account for most of the innovation. We conclude that reasonably designed environmental regulations, when implemented regionally in competitive industries, do improve Chinese firms’ innovation ability in line with the Porter Hypothesis. The results help us derive some useful policy implications regarding innovation.Link

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Reviewing the Climate Crisis Town Hall

Reviewing the Climate Crisis Town Hall. Joseph Aldy, September 8, 2019, Audio, “Host Steve Curwood sits down with Joe Aldy, economist and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, to take a look at carbon pricing, a just transition for fossil fuel workers, and other key topics from the climate crisis town hall.Link


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Collective Risk and Distributional Equity in Climate Change Bargaining

Collective Risk and Distributional Equity in Climate Change Bargaining. Dustin Tingley, 2019, Paper, “International climate negotiations occur against the backdrop of increasing collective risk: the likelihood of catastrophic economic loss due to climate change will continue to increase unless and until global mitigation efforts are sufficient to prevent it. We introduce a novel alternating-offers bargaining model that incorporates this characteristic feature of climate change. We test the model using an incentivized experiment. We manipulate two important distributional equity principles: capacity to pay for mitigation of climate change and vulnerability to its potentially catastrophic effects. Our results show that less vulnerable parties do not exploit the greater vulnerability of their bargaining partners. They are, rather, more generous. Conversely, parties with greater capacity are less generous in their offers. Both collective risk itself and its importance in light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report make it all the more urgent to better understand this crucial strategic feature of climate change bargaining.Link

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Climate Change, Climate Policy, and Economic Growth

Climate Change, Climate Policy, and Economic Growth. James Stock, July 1, 2019, Paper, “The topics of climate change and climate change policy encompass a complex mixture of the natural sciences, economics, and a mass of institutional, legal, and technical details. This complexity and multidisciplinary nature make it difficult for thoughtful citizens to reach their own conclusions on the topic and for potentially interested economists to know where to start. This essay aims to provide a point of entry for macroeconomists interested in climate change and climate change policy but with no special knowledge of the field. I therefore start at the beginning, with some basic background on climate change, presented through the eyes of an econometrician. I then turn to climate policy in the United States. That discussion points to a large number of researchable open questions which macroeconomists are particularly well-suited to tackle.Link

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For International Cap-and-Trade in Carbon Permits, Price Stabilization Introduces Secondary Free-Rider-Type Problems

For International Cap-and-Trade in Carbon Permits, Price Stabilization Introduces Secondary Free-Rider-Type Problems. Martin Weitzman, June 7, 2019, Paper, “In this brief note (Without holding them responsible for errors, omissions, or interpretations, I am grateful for constructive comments on an earlier version of this note by Joseph Aldy, Severin Borenstein, Maureen Cropper, Carolyn Fischer, Meredith Fowlie, Lawrence Goulder, Geoffrey Heal, N. Gregory Mankiw, Michael Mehling, Gilbert Metcalf, Adele Morris, Ian Parry, William Pizer, Simon Quemin, Andrew Schein, Richard Schmalensee, E. Somanathan, Robert Stavins, David Victor, and Gernot Wagner.), I take the initial allocation of carbon emissions as a prototype international public goods problem. Overcoming the free-rider problem in carbon emissions is central to a successful comprehensive international climate-change agreement. Volunteerism alone may go part way, but is unlikely to fully adequately overcome this free-rider problem. (The numerical values of the pledged “Nationally Determined Contributions” under the Paris Agreement are voluntary, although the Paris Agreement itself may help constructively by laying a legal foundation for participation, reporting, verification, transparency, and trust.)Link

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Understanding and Overcoming Roadblocks to Environmental Sustainability. Past Roads and Future Prospects

Understanding and Overcoming Roadblocks to Environmental Sustainability. Past Roads and Future Prospects. Shawn Cole, 2019, Paper, “This working paper examines key barriers to business sustainability discussed at a multidisciplinary conference held at the Harvard Business School in 2018. Drawing on perspectives from both the historical and business literatures, speakers debated the historical success and future opportunities for voluntary business actions to advance sustainability. Roadblocks include misaligned incentives, missing institutions, inertia of economic systems, and the concept of sustainability itself. It appears that overcoming these roadblocks will require systematic interventions and alternative normative concepts.Link

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Transitioning to Long-Run Effective and Efficient Climate Policies

Transitioning to Long-Run Effective and Efficient Climate Policies. Robert Stavins, March 2019, Paper, “A combination of factors pose significant barriers to developing effective and efficient sets of policies to achieve long-run climate policy objectives. Political opposition to particular types of policy mechanisms (for example, GHG pricing) and the global, stock-pollutant nature of the climate problem are among the major factors posing practical policy challenges. Effective and efficient climate policy is needed in the long run to meaningfully address the climate problem, making the design of transitions to such long-run policies from the current portfolio of policies an important task for policymakers.Link

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