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13 + 1: A Comparison of Global Climate Change Policy Architectures AgEcon
Aldy, Joseph E.; Barrett, Scott; Stavins, Robert N..
We critically review the Kyoto Protocol and thirteen alternative policy architectures for addressing the threat of global climate change. We employ six criteria to evaluate the policy proposals: environmental outcome, dynamic efficiency, cost effectiveness, equity, flexibility in the presence of new information, and incentives for participation and compliance. The Kyoto Protocol does not fare well on a number of criteria, but none of the alternative proposals fare well along all six dimensions. We identify several major themes among the alternative proposals: Kyoto is "too little, too fast"; developing countries should play a more substantial role and receive incentives to participate; implementation should focus on market-based approaches, especially...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Policy architecture; Kyoto Protocol; Efficiency; Cost effectiveness; Equity; Participation; Compliance; Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 2003 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10541
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A Meaningful U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Climate Change AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Cap-and-Trade System; Carbon Dioxide; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Global Climate Change; Carbon Taxes; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q540; Q280; Q380; Q480; Q580.
Ano: 2008 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/44469
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A Tale of Two Market Failures: Technology and Environmental Policy AgEcon
Jaffe, Adam B.; Newell, Richard G.; Stavins, Robert N..
Market failures associated with environmental pollution interact with market failures associated with the innovation and diffusion of new technologies. These combined market failures provide a strong rationale for a portfolio of public policies that foster emissions reduction as well as the development and adoption of environmentally beneficial technology. Both theory and empirical evidence suggest that the rate and direction of technological advance is influenced by market and regulatory incentives, and can be cost-effectively harnessed through the use of economicincentive based policy. In the presence of weak or nonexistent environmental policies, investments in the development and diffusion of new environmentally beneficial technologies are very likely...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Technology; Research and development; Environment; Externality; Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; O38; Q28; H23.
Ano: 2004 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10815
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Addressing Climate Change with a Comprehensive U.S. Cap-and-Trade System AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
There is growing impetus for a domestic U.S. climate policy that can provide meaningful reductions in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. I describe and analyze an up- stream, economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system which implements a gradual trajectory of emissions reductions (with inclusion over time of non-CO2 greenhouse gases), and includes mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty. Initially, half of the allowances are allocated through auction and half through free distribution, with the share being auctioned gradually increasing to 100 percent over 25 years. The system provides for linkage with emission reduction credit projects in other countries, harmonization over time with effective cap-and-trade systems in other countries and regions, and...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Cap-and-Trade System; Carbon Dioxide; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Global Climate Change; Carbon Taxes; Q540; Q280; Q380; Q480; Q580.
Ano: 2008 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/42920
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Can an Effective Global Climate Treaty Be Based on Sound Science, Rational Economics, and Pragmatic Politics AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
The Kyoto Protocol (1997) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) may come into force without U.S. participation, but its effects on climate change will be trivial. At the same time, the economic and scientific consensus points to the need for a credible international approach. A reasonable starting point is the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), which was signed by 161 nations and ratified by 50, including the United States, and entered into force in 1994. In this paper, I remain agnostic on the question of the Kyoto Protocol's viability. Some analysts see the agreement as deeply flawed, while others see it as an acceptable or even excellent first step. But virtually everyone agrees that the Protocol is not...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Global climate change; Global warming; Policy architecture; Kyoto Protocol; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q54; Q58; Q48; Q39.
Ano: 2004 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10720
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Climate Change and Forest Sinks: Factors Affecting the Costs of Carbon Sequestration AgEcon
Newell, Richard G.; Stavins, Robert N..
The possibility of encouraging the growth of forests as a means of sequestering carbon dioxide has received considerable attention because of concerns about the threat of global climate change due to the greenhouse effect. In fact, this approach is an explicit element of both U.S. and international climate policies, partly because of evidence that growing trees to sequester carbon can be a relatively inexpensive means of combating climate change. But how sensitive are such estimates to specific conditions? We examine the sensitivity of carbon sequestration costs to changes in critical factors, including the nature of the management and deforestation regimes, silvicultural species, agricultural prices, and discount rates. We find, somewhat...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 1999 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10559
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Comparing Price and Non-price Approaches to Urban Water Conservation AgEcon
Olmstead, Sheila M.; Stavins, Robert N..
Urban water conservation is typically achieved through prescriptive regulations, including the rationing of water for particular uses and requirements for the installation of particular technologies. A significant shift has occurred in pollution control regulations toward market-based policies in recent decades. We offer an analysis of the relative merits of market-based and prescriptive approaches to water conservation, where prices have rarely been used to allocate scarce supplies. The analysis emphasizes the emerging theoretical and empirical evidence that using prices to manage water demand is more cost-effective than implementing non-price conservation programs, similar to results for pollution control in earlier decades. Price-based approaches also...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Cost-effectiveness; Water Conservation; Market-based Approaches; Policy Instrument Choice; Water Price; Q25; Q28; Q58; L95.
Ano: 2008 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/42919
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Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies AgEcon
Newell, Richard G.; Stavins, Robert N..
Policy makers and policy analysts are frequently faced with situations where it is unclear whether market-based instruments hold real promise of reducing costs, relative to conventional command-and-control approaches. We develop rules-of-thumb that can be employed with minimal amounts of information to estimate the potential cost savings associated with marketbased policies, with an application to the environmental policy realm. Our hope is that these simple formulae can aid policy analysts and policy makers in the early stages of exploring alternative policy instruments by helping them identify approaches that merit greater attention and more detailed analysis. We illustrate the use of the rules-of-thumb with an application to nitrogen oxides control in...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environment; Policy instruments; Cost-effective; Market-based; Tradable permits; Uniform standards; Industrial Organization; Q28; Q38.
Ano: 2000 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10577
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Determinants of Land-Use Change In the United States 1982-1997 AgEcon
Lubowski, Ruben N.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Stavins, Robert N..
Changes in the use of land in the United States produce significant economic and environmental effects with important implications for a wide variety of policy issues, including protection of wildlife habitat, management of urban growth, and mitigation of global climate change. In contrast to previous descriptive and qualitative analyses of the trends in national land use, this paper uses an econometric approach to isolate the importance of historical changes in land-use profits and key government policies in determining national land-use changes from 1982 to 1997. The policies we examine are the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and total government payments to crop producers. We estimate a national-level discrete choice model of changes among the major...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Land use; Econometric model; Counterfactual simulation; Conservation Reserve Program (CRP); Land Economics/Use; C53; Q1; Q24; R14; R15.
Ano: 2003 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10714
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Do Consumers React to the Shape of Supply? Water Demand under Heterogeneous Price Structures AgEcon
Olmstead, Sheila M.; Hanemann, W. Michael; Stavins, Robert N..
Urban water pricing provides an opportunity to examine whether consumers react to the shape of supply functions. We carry out an empirical analysis of the influence of price and price structure on residential water demand, using the most price-diverse, detailed, household-level water demand data yet available for this purpose. We adapt the Hausman model of labor supply under progressive income taxation to estimate water demand under non-linear prices. Ours is the first analysis to address both the simultaneous determination of marginal price and water demand under block pricing and the possibility of endogenous price structures in the cross section. In order to examine the possibility that consumers facing block prices are more price-responsive, all else...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Non-linear pricing; Water demand; Price elasticity; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; D12; Q21; Q25; Q28; L95.
Ano: 2005 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10672
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Environmental Economics AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
This article, prepared for the forthcoming second edition of the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, provides an overview of the economics of environmental policy. Included are the setting of goals and targets, notably the Kaldor-Hicks criterion, and the related method of assessment known as benefit-cost analysis. Also reviewed are the means of environmental policy, that is, the choice of specific policy instruments, featuring an examination of potential criteria for assessing alternative instruments, with focus on cost-effectiveness. The theoretical foundations and experiential highlights of individual instruments are reviewed, including conventional command-and-control mechanisms and market-based instruments.
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental economics; Efficiency; Cost-effectiveness; Benefit-cost analysis; Market-based instruments; Tradeable permits; Pollution taxes; Environmental Economics and Policy; K320; Q280; Q380; Q480.
Ano: 2004 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10841
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Environmental Law and Public Policy AgEcon
Revesz, Richard L.; Stavins, Robert N..
This chapter provides an economic perspective of environmental law and policy with regard to both normative and positive dimensions. It begins with an examination of the central problem in environmental regulation: the tendency of pollution generators in an unconstrained market economy to externalize some of the costs of their production, leading to an inefficiently large amount of pollution. We examine the ends of environmental policy, that is, the setting of goals and targets, beginning with normative issues, notably the Kaldor-Hicks criterion and the related method of assessment known as benefit-cost analysis. We examine this analytical method in detail, including its theoretical foundations and empirical methods of estimation of compliance costs and...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental economics; Environmental law; Efficiency; Cost-effectiveness; Benefit-cost analysis; Environmental federalism; Environmental Economics and Policy; K320; Q280; Q380; Q480.
Ano: 2004 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10742
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Environmental Protection and Economic Well-Being: How Does (and How Should) Government Balance These Two Important Values? AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
The organizers of an Aspen Institute conference have identified what they characterize as "the critical conundrum" - how business, government, and communications media balance the competing values of economic growth and a healthy environment. In this paper, prepared for discussion at the conference, I focus on government policy, and ask how government integrates economic concerns into its development of environmental policies. In addition, I ask whether and how government should carry out such integration of economic and environmental concerns. I consider two dimensions of environmental policy, which are closely interrelated but conceptually distinct: (1) what is the appropriate (and actual) degree of government activity; and (2) what form should (and...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 2003 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10565
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Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
Environmental policies typically combine the identification of a goal with some means to achieve that goal. This chapter for the forthcoming Handbook of Environmental Economics focuses exclusively on the second component, the means - the "instruments" - of environmental policy, and considers, in particular, experience around the world with the relatively new breed of economic-incentive or market-based policy instruments. I define these instruments broadly, and consider them within four categories: charge systems; tradable permits; market friction reductions; and government subsidy reductions. Within charge systems, I consider: effluent charges, deposit-refund systems, user charges, insurance premium taxes, sales taxes, administrative charges, and tax...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Market-based policy; Economic incentives; Tradable permits; Emission taxes; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q28.
Ano: 2001 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10909
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How Do Economists Really Think About the Environment? AgEcon
Fullerton, Don; Stavins, Robert N..
On a topic like the environment, communication among scholars from different disciplines in the natural and social sciences is both important and difficult, but such communication has been far from perfect. Economists themselves may have contributed to some rather fundamental misunderstandings about how economists think about the environment, perhaps through our enthusiasm for market solutions, perhaps by neglecting to make explicit all of the necessary qualifications, and perhaps simply by the use of jargon that has specific meaning only to other economists. In this brief essay, we seek to clarify some of these misunderstandings and thus to improve future interdisciplinary communication. We hope that natural scientists and other non-economists will take...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Market failure; Economic analysis; Efficiency; Equity; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q2; H4; L51.
Ano: 1998 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10910
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Interactions between State and Federal Climate Change Policies AgEcon
Goulder, Lawrence H.; Stavins, Robert N..
Federal action addressing climate change is likely to emerge either through new legislation or via the U.S. EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act. The prospect of federal action raises important questions regarding the interconnections between federal efforts and state-level climate policy developments. In the presence of federal policies, to what extent will state efforts be cost-effective? How does the co-existence of state- and federal-level policies affect the ability of state efforts to achieve emissions reductions? This paper addresses these questions. We find that state-level policy in the presence of a federal policy can be beneficial or problematic, depending on the nature of the overlap between the two systems, the relative stringency of...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Global Climate Change; Federalism; Cap-And-Trade; Carbon Tax; Regulation; Environmental Economics and Policy; H110; H770; K320; L510; Q480; Q540.
Ano: 2010 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/93413
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Interpreting Sustainability in Economic Terms: Dynamic Efficiency Plus Intergenerational Equity AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N.; Wagner, Alexander F.; Wagner, Gernot.
Economists have expended considerable effort to develop economically meaningful definitions of the somewhat elusive concept of "sustainability." We relate such a definition of sustainability to well known concepts from neoclassical economics, in particular, potential Pareto improvements (in the Kaldor-Hicks sense) and interpersonal compensation. In the inter-temporal realm, we find that dynamic efficiency is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a notion of sustainability that has normative standing as a goal for public policy. We define sustainability as dynamic efficiency plus intergenerational equity. Further, we argue that it is not unreasonable for economists to focus on the efficiency element, leaving equity considerations to the political...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 2002 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10810
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Introduction to the Political Economy of Environmental Regulations AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
This paper introduces a volume of collected papers on the political economy of environmental regulation: economic analyses of the processes through which political decisions regarding environmental regulation are made, principally in the institutional context found in the United States. Despite this geographic focus, many of the papers contain analytical models that are methodologically of interest and/or have lessons that are relevant in other parts of the world. In the environmental realm, questions of political economy emerge along three fundamental dimensions, which are closely interrelated but conceptually distinct: (1) the degree of government activity; (2) the form of government activity; and (3) the level of government that has responsibility. The...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 2004 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10876
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Land-Use Change and Carbon Sinks: Econometric Estimation of the Carbon Sequestration Supply Function AgEcon
Lubowski, Ruben N.; Plantinga, Andrew J.; Stavins, Robert N..
When and if the United States chooses to implement a greenhouse gas reduction program, it will be necessary to decide whether carbon sequestration policies - such as those that promote forestation and discourage deforestation - should be part of the domestic portfolio of compliance activities. We investigate the cost of forest-based carbon sequestration. In contrast with previous approaches, we econometrically examine micro-data on revealed landowner preferences, modeling six major private land uses in a comprehensive analysis of the contiguous United States. The econometric estimates are used to simulate landowner responses to sequestration policies. Key commodity prices are treated as endogenous and a carbon sink model is used to predict changes in...
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Abatement; Carbon; Climate change; Costs; Forestry; Greenhouse gases; Land use; Land-use change; Sequestration; Land Economics/Use; Q540; Q230; Q240; Q150.
Ano: 2005 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10561
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Lessons From the American Experiment With Market-Based Environmental Policies AgEcon
Stavins, Robert N..
Tipo: Working or Discussion Paper Palavras-chave: Environmental Economics and Policy.
Ano: 2001 URL: http://purl.umn.edu/10589
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