High-stakes school testing: New evidence

Victor Lavy, Avraham Ebenstein, Sefi Roth 20 November 2014

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Although many countries use high-stakes testing to rank students for college admission, the consequences of this policy are largely unknown. Does having a particularly good or bad performance on a high-stakes examination have long-term consequences for test takers, after accounting for a student’s cognitive ability? Insofar as there are permanent wage consequences to variation induced by completely random shocks to student performance, it suggests that the use of high-stakes testing as a primary method for ranking students may be inefficient.

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Topics:  Education Environment Labour markets

Tags:  testing, tests, standardised testing, standardised tests, exams, SATs, Bagrut, admissions, pollution, Israel, returns to education, human capital, allocative efficiency, meritocracy, pressure

More evidence for technology’s role in the clean-up of manufacturing

Arik Levinson 24 September 2014

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Pollution emitted by manufacturers has been falling for decades in Europe and the US, while the real value of manufacturing output has been growing (Brunel 2014). What accounts for this clean-up? A worrisome explanation is that rich countries have been offshoring the pollution-intensive, or ‘dirty’, parts of their manufacturing sectors, producing the clean goods and doing final assembly at home while importing the dirty goods and resource-intensive intermediate inputs. That’s worrisome for two reasons.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  manufacturing, pollution, clean-up, offshoring

Dirty little secrets: Inferring fossil-fuel subsidies from patterns in emission intensities

Radek Stefanski 30 May 2014

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An astonishing feature of international energy and climate policy is that fossil fuels – often seen as the primary contributor to climate change – receive enormous government support (IMF 2013, IEA 2012). Surprisingly, no comprehensive database of directly measured, comparable fossil-fuel subsidies exists at the international level. This is both because of political pressure from the direct beneficiaries of subsidies and because of the immense complexity of the task given the profusion and diversity of subsidy programmes across countries (Koplow 2009, OECD 2012).

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  energy, emissions, pollution, subsidies, fossil fuels, energy subsidy, carbon

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

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

Market mechanisms for regulation: Cap-and-trade and Obamacare

Jeffrey Frankel 27 February 2014

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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.

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Topics:  Environment Politics and economics

Tags:  environment, global warming, pollution, regulation, healthcare, Cap-and-trade, market-based mechanisms, Obamacare, EU ETS

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

Does Supporting Passenger Railways Reduce Road Traffic Externalities?

Rafael Lalive, Simon Luechinger, Armin Schmutzler,

Date Published

Sun, 02/10/2013

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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

Identifying the worldwide pollution haven effect

Jean-Marie Grether, Nicole A. Mathys, Jaime de Melo 23 December 2010

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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. 2010a), and an indirect concern because lower environmental standards generate a comparative advantage in "dirty" industries for developing countries (Antweiler et al 2001).

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Topics:  Environment International trade

Tags:  globalisation, environment, pollution

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