Climate policy targets revisited

Richard S J Tol 25 April 2014

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The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change is the most famous economic assessment of climate policy (Stern et al. 2006). The Stern Review puts the costs of unmitigated climate change at 5–20% of GDP (now and forever), it estimates that the cost of stabilising atmospheric concentrations around 525 ppm CO2e are 1% of GDP (in 2050), and recommends that concentrations be stabilised around 500 ppm CO2e.1

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, emissions, externalities, greenhouse gases, pollution, carbon, cost-benefit analysis

Making city lights shine brighter

Shahid Yusuf, Danny Leipziger,

Date Published

Mon, 03/03/2014

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http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/policy_insights/viewpi.php?pino=71

Vox readers can download CEPR Policy Insight 71 for free here.

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growth, Inequality, externalities, cities, urbanisation, agglomeration, slums

Making city lights burn brighter

Danny Leipziger, Shahid Yusuf 03 March 2014

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Urbanisation and per capita GDP are well correlated.1 According to a recent estimate by Gilles Duranton using cross-country data for 2012 (see Figure 1), each percentage point of urbanisation is associated with a five-percentage-point increase in GDP per capita, with urbanisation apparently explaining 60% of the variation in incomes.

Figure 1. Urbanisation and GDP per capita

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Topics:  Development

Tags:  growth, Inequality, externalities, cities, urbanisation, agglomeration, slums

The housing-market impacts of shale-gas development

Lucija Muehlenbachs, Beia Spiller, Christopher Timmins 09 February 2014

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Technological improvements in the extraction of natural gas from shale rock have transformed the industry.

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  house prices, housing, externalities, pollution, property prices, shale gas, fracking

Can passenger railways curb road-traffic externalities? Empirical evidence

Rafael Lalive, Simon Luechinger, Armin Schmutzler 15 March 2013

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Road accidents kill 1.2m people every year (WHO). Road transportation is the main source of local air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. It contributes to noise and global air pollution, and it leads to congestion. Against this backdrop, many governments subsidise railways with the explicit aim of reducing road-traffic externalities. However, do improvements in public transport really curb road-traffic externalities? In this column, we discuss recent empirical evidence identifying positive effects of public-transport improvements.

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Topics:  Environment Frontiers of economic research Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  externalities, pollution, infrastructure, railways, trains

Are property values affected by concerns over groundwater contamination from shale?

Lucija Muehlenbachs, Beia Spiller, Christopher Timmins 29 September 2012

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A recent increase in the extraction of natural gas and oil using unconventional methods has transformed communities and landscapes. Shale gas extraction has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to developments in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The extraction of natural gas from shale, which had hitherto been economically unrecoverable, has resulted in greatly expanded supply and in many landowners receiving high resource rents for the hydrocarbons beneath their land.

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  externalities, pollution, natural gas, property prices

On international equity weights and national decision making on climate change

David Anthoff, Richard S J Tol 29 November 2010

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Climate change is a moral problem. The main reason to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a concern for faraway lands (Schelling 2000), distant futures (Nordhaus 1982), and remote probabilities (Weitzman 2009). The people who emit most are least affected by climate change, and the benefits of their abatement would be dissipated. Carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for decades and the effects on temperature and sea level play out over even longer periods. Central projections have that climate change and its impacts are a nuisance for rich countries and a problem for poor countries.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, externalities, environment, co-operation

Tolls instead of traffic jams

Hans-Werner Sinn 17 September 2010

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It’s the same story every year. European motorists fight their way through heavy traffic on their way to their holiday destinations. Instead of comfortably stretching out their legs in their hotel rooms, they spend long hours cramped behind the steering wheels of their cars. Stress instead of rest and relaxation. Hours in taxing stop-and-go traffic until their long-anticipated goal is reached. This has got to stop. EU countries should be able to put an end to the chaos on their highways.

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Topics:  Environment EU institutions

Tags:  externalities, environment, Traffic jams, road tolls

Multinational firms, agglomeration, and global networks

Laura Alfaro, Maggie Chen 08 January 2010

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Recent decades have witnessed an explosion in the activities of multinational corporations. Sharp declines in trade and telecommunication costs have led to increasing separation of management and production facilities within individual firms. The rise of multinational firms represents a particularly extreme example of expanding geographic distance between firm leadership and production. Firms that agglomerated in Silicon Valley and Detroit now have subsidiaries clustering in Bangalore (termed the Silicon Valley of India) and Slovakia (nicknamed Detroit of the East).

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Topics:  Industrial organisation International trade

Tags:  multinationals, externalities, agglomeration

The rise of obesity in Europe: An economic perspective

Giorgio Brunello, Pierre-Carl Michaud, Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano 06 October 2009

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When comparing obesity rates in Europe and the US, two basic facts emerge:

  • continental Europe has much lower rates of obesity than the UK and US (Figure 1)
  • while Europe is heading in the same direction as the US – higher obesity rates – it is doing so at a significantly slower pace, according to OECD data.

Figure 1. Prevalence of obesity in 2004 among adults (aged 18+) by gender

Source: OECD Health Data (2005)

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Topics:  Health economics

Tags:  obesity, insurance, externalities

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