To address environmental problems that span national borders, countries have negotiated more than 1,000 international environmental agreements (IEAs). But do they work? According to most theoretical economic models, because of free-rider problems IEAs cannot reduce pollution much below business-as-usual levels (Barrett 1994, 1997; Carraro and Siniscalco 1993; Finus and Maus 2008).
Waste of effort? International environmental agreements
Derek Kellenberg, Arik Levinson, 1 March 2014
Market mechanisms for regulation: Cap-and-trade and Obamacare
Jeffrey Frankel, 27 February 2014
Markets can fail. But market mechanisms are often the best way for governments to address such failures. This has been demonstrated in areas from air pollution, to traffic congestion, to spectrum allocation, to cigarette consumption.
Nuclear expansion or phase-out? Costs and opportunities
Enrica De Cian, Samuel Carrara, Massimo Tavoni, 22 December 2013
"We learned from Fukushima that we have to deal differently with risks… We believe we as a country can be a trailblazer for a new age of renewable energy sources… We can be the first major industrialized country that achieves the transition to renewable energy with all the opportunities – for exports, development, technology, jobs – it carri
Identifying the worldwide pollution haven effect
Jean-Marie Grether, Nicole A. Mathys, Jaime de Melo, 23 December 2010
For the environmentally minded, globalisation reflected in rising trade shares in world GDP is worrisome. Globalisation is a direct concern because the activity of trading itself generates pollution through the transport of goods (Hummels 2009 and Grether et al.
On international equity weights and national decision making on climate change
David Anthoff, Richard S J Tol, 29 November 2010
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.
Tolls instead of traffic jams
Hans-Werner Sinn, 17 September 2010
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.
Climatopolis: How will climate change impact urbanites and their cities?
Matthew E. Kahn, 11 September 2010
Without being overly dramatic, climate change is coming. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is approximately 390 parts per million by volume as of 2010, and rising by about 1.9 parts per million per year (Wikipedia 2010).
Can carbon labelling be development friendly?
Gareth Edwards-Jones, Paul Brenton, Michael F Jensen, 5 September 2010
Economists usually think of labelling as a good thing – an increase in the information set. But what if the science behind the labelling is iffy? What if the organisations doing the labelling are responding primarily to incentives stemming from developed country markets? When it comes to the recent trend towards “carbon footprinting” everything, both of these issues arise.
Ambiguity is another reason to mitigate climate change
Simon Dietz, Antony Millner, Geoffrey Heal, 1 September 2010
Most economists now agree on the need to control emissions of greenhouse gases, but there remains debate about how rapid the cuts should be. There has been an understandable, if simplistic, tendency to stylise the debate as “Stern versus Nordhaus”.
The evolution of agricultural trade flows
M. Ataman Aksoy, Francis Ng, 30 July 2010
Agricultural trade is back on the policy agenda. Economic growth and burgeoning populations have pushed prices up (see Figure 1). These trends are strengthened by new developments such as such using grains for bio-fuels, export controls, and greater demand by China and other developing countries.
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