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Environmental and Resource Economics
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.186
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 24  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-1502 - ISSN (Online) 0924-6460
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2626 journals]
  • Editorial: Economics of the Environment in the Shadow of Coronavirus
    • PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Potential for Sustainable Aquaculture: Insights from Discrete Choice
    • Abstract: Abstract The growth in global aquaculture production may address the lack of sustainability in wild fisheries, alleviate poverty in rural and coastal areas, and help meet the worldwide increase in demand for animal protein. However, there is an ongoing debate about the severity of the environmental impact of aquaculture production. Investing in new high-tech production systems can address both productivity growth and the environmental externalities, but high investment costs hinder adoption of high-tech production methods. We investigate the potential of a payment for environmental services program easing access to capital for producers to increase willingness-to-invest in more sustainable aquaculture practices in Vietnam. We conducted two discrete choice experiments to explore the supply and demand side of the policy. First, we elicited the public’s willingness-to-pay to reduce the environmental impact of conventional shrimp aquaculture, and second, we elicited farmers willingness-to-accept a credit subsidy to invest in high-tech production methods. Our results show that the public care about reduced environmental impacts, while farmers strongly prefer increased productivity. Furthermore, the public’s willingness-to-pay for reduced environmental impacts exceeds producer’s willingness-to-accept a subsidy to invest under most scenarios. This implies a potential for more sustainable aquaculture production in Vietnam.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Infectious Diseases and Meat Production
    • Abstract: Abstract Most infectious diseases in humans originate from animals. In this paper, we explore the role of animal farming and meat consumption in the emergence and amplification of infectious diseases. First, we discuss how meat production increases epidemic risks, either directly through increased contact with wild and farmed animals or indirectly through its impact on the environment (e.g., biodiversity loss, water use, climate change). Traditional food systems such as bushmeat and backyard farming increase the risks of disease transmission from wild animals, while intensive farming amplifies the impact of the disease due to the high density, genetic proximity, increased immunodeficiency, and live transport of farmed animals. Second, we describe the various direct and indirect costs of animal-based infectious diseases, and in particular, how these diseases can negatively impact the economy and the environment. Last, we discuss policies to reduce the social costs of infectious diseases. While existing regulatory frameworks such as the “One Health” approach focus on increasing farms’ biosecurity and emergency preparedness, we emphasize the need to better align stakeholders’ incentives and to reduce meat consumption. We discuss in particular the implementation of a “zoonotic” Pigouvian tax, and innovations such as insect-based food or cultured meat.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • The Value of Greenspace Under Pandemic Lockdown
    • Abstract: Abstract The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in unprecedented restrictions on citizen’s freedom of movement as governments moved to institute lockdowns designed to reduce the spread of the virus. While most out-of-home leisure activities were prohibited, in England the lockdown rules allowed for restricted use of outdoor greenspace for the purposes of exercise and recreation. In this paper, we use data recorded by Google from location-enabled mobile devices coupled with a detailed recreation demand model to explore the welfare impacts of those constraints on leisure activities. Our analyses reveals evidence of large-scale substitution of leisure time towards recreation in available greenspaces. Indeed, despite the restrictions the economic value of greenspace to the citizens of England fell by only £150 million over lockdown. Examining the outcomes of counterfactual policies we find that the imposition of stricter lockdown rules would have reduced welfare from greenspace by £1.14 billion. In contrast, more relaxed lockdown rules would have delivered an aggregate increase in the economic value of greenspace equal to £1.47 billion.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Air Pollution Exposure and Covid-19 in Dutch Municipalities
    • Abstract: Abstract In light of the existing preliminary evidence of a link between Covid-19 and poor air quality, which is largely based upon correlations, we estimate the relationship between long term air pollution exposure and Covid-19 in 355 municipalities in the Netherlands. Using detailed data we find compelling evidence of a positive relationship between air pollution, and particularly \(PM_{2.5}\) concentrations, and Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This relationship persists even after controlling for a wide range of explanatory variables. Our results indicate that, other things being equal, a municipality with 1 μg/m3 more \(PM_{2.5}\) concentrations will have 9.4 more Covid-19 cases, 3.0 more hospital admissions, and 2.3 more deaths. This relationship between Covid-19 and air pollution withstands a number of sensitivity and robustness exercises including instrumenting pollution to mitigate potential endogeneity in the measurement of pollution and modelling spatial spillovers using spatial econometric techniques.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • CITES and the Zoonotic Disease Content in International Wildlife Trade
    • Abstract: Abstract International trade in wildlife is one contributing factor to zoonotic disease risk. Using descriptive statistics, this paper shows that in the last decades, the volume and pattern of internationally traded wildlife has changed considerably and, with it, the zoonotic pathogens that are traded. In an econometric analysis, we give evidence that an international environmental trade agreement could be used to limit the spread of zoonotic pathogens and disease. More specifically, combining zoonotic disease data with wildlife trade data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife and Fauna (CITES), we show that making trade requirements more stringent leads to a decrease in the number of animals traded and, incidentally, also the number of zoonotic diseases that are traded. Our results contribute to the discussion of policy measures that manage the spread of zoonotic diseases.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • The Corona-Pandemic: A Game-Theoretic Perspective on Regional and Global
    • Abstract: Abstract We argue that the incentive structure of all individual and coordinated measures across countries to contain the corona-pandemic is that of a weakest-link public good game. We discuss a selection of theoretical and experimental key results of weakest-link games and interpret them in the light of the corona-pandemic. First, we highlight that experimental evidence does not support the assumption that coordination can be trivially solved, even among symmetric players. Second, we argue that for asymmetric countries the weakest-link game does not only pose a problem of coordination, but also a problem of cooperation. Third, we show how and under which conditions self-enforcing treaties can foster coordination and cooperation. We account for the possibility that countries make mistakes when choosing their actions. Our discussion shows that North–South cooperation is relevant and likely to be self-enforcing and that regional cooperation, e.g., within the EU, will also be important.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Suggestions for a Covid-19 Post-Pandemic Research Agenda in Environmental
    • Abstract: Abstract In this article we draw upon early lessons from the 2020 Covid-19 crisis and discuss how these may relate to a future research agenda in environmental economics. In particular, we describe how the events surrounding the Covid-19 crisis may inform environmental research related to globalization and cooperation, the green transition, pricing carbon externalities, as well as the role of uncertainty and timing of policy inventions. We also discuss the implications for future empirical research in this area.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Cross-Country Comparisons of Covid-19: Policy, Politics and the Price of
    • Abstract: Abstract Coronavirus has claimed the lives of over half a million people world-wide and this death toll continues to rise rapidly each day. In the absence of a vaccine, non-clinical preventative measures have been implemented as the principal means of limiting deaths. However, these measures have caused unprecedented disruption to daily lives and economic activity. Given this developing crisis, the potential for a second wave of infections and the near certainty of future pandemics, lessons need to be rapidly gleaned from the available data. We address the challenges of cross-country comparisons by allowing for differences in reporting and variation in underlying socio-economic conditions between countries. Our analyses show that, to date, differences in policy interventions have out-weighed socio-economic variation in explaining the range of death rates observed in the data. Our epidemiological models show that across 8 countries a further week long delay in imposing lockdown would likely have cost more than half a million lives. Furthermore, those countries which acted more promptly saved substantially more lives than those that delayed. Linking decisions over the timing of lockdown and consequent deaths to economic data, we reveal the costs that national governments were implicitly prepared to pay to protect their citizens as reflected in the economic activity foregone to save lives. These ‘price of life’ estimates vary enormously between countries, ranging from as low as around $100,000 (e.g. the UK, US and Italy) to in excess of $1million (e.g. Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Korea). The lowest estimates are further reduced once we correct for under-reporting of Covid-19 deaths.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Is the Price System or Rationing More Effective in Getting a Mask to Those
           Who Need It Most'
    • Abstract: Abstract Weitzman’s classic insight on the virtues of allocating a scarce good via the price system or through rationing is applied to the problem of distributing masks, when the use of a mask provides a positive external benefit. I show that if a market leaves some individuals without a mask (when potentially there is supply for all), then rationing may be the superior option. When the variation in need is small, then even if the external effect of mask wearing is approximately equal to the personal benefit, even 10–20% maskless in the population may justify rationing.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Effects of Physical Distancing to Control COVID-19 on Public Health, the
           Economy, and the Environment
    • Abstract: Abstract Physical distancing measures are important tools to control disease spread, especially in the absence of treatments and vaccines. While distancing measures can safeguard public health, they also can profoundly impact the economy and may have important indirect effects on the environment. The extent to which physical distancing measures should be applied therefore depends on the trade-offs between their health benefits and their economic costs. We develop an epidemiological-economic model to examine the optimal duration and intensity of physical distancing measures aimed to control the spread of COVID-19. In an application to the United States, our model considers the trade-off between the lives saved by physical distancing—both directly from stemming the spread of the virus and indirectly from reductions in air pollution during the period of physical distancing—and the short- and long-run economic costs that ensue from such measures. We examine the effect of air pollution co-benefits on the optimal physical distancing policy and conduct sensitivity analyses to gauge the influence of several key parameters and uncertain model assumptions. Using recent estimates of the association between airborne particulate matter and the virulence of COVID-19, we find that accounting for air pollution co-benefits can significantly increase the intensity and duration of the optimal physical distancing policy. To conclude, we broaden our discussion to consider the possibility of durable changes in peoples’ behavior that could alter local markets, the global economy, and our relationship to nature for years to come.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Agricultural Markets
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper analyses the impacts on global agricultural markets of the demand shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first wave of lockdown measures imposed by the governments in the first semester of 2020 to contain it. Specifically, we perform a scenario-based analysis on the IMF economic growth forecasts for 2020 and 2021 using a global multi-commodity agricultural market model. According to our results, the sharp decline in economic growth causes a decrease in international meat prices by 7–18% in 2020 and dairy products by 4–7% compared to a business as usual situation. Following the slowdown of the economy, biofuel prices fall strongly in 2020, followed by their main feedstocks, maize and oilseeds. Although the income losses and local supply chain disruptions associated with the pandemic undoubtedly has led to an increase in food insecurity in many developing countries, global food consumption is largely unaffected due to the inelastic demand of most agricultural commodities and the short duration of the shock. From an environmental viewpoint, the COVID-19 impacts point to a modest reduction of direct greenhouse gases from agriculture of about 1% or 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2020 and 2021.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Effects of the COVID-19 on Air Quality: Human Mobility, Spillover Effects,
           and City Connections
    • Abstract: Abstract We quantify the causal effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on air quality in the context of China. Using the lockdowns in different cities as exogenous shocks, our difference-in-differences estimations show that lockdown policies significantly reduced air pollution by 12% on average. Based on the first lockdown city, Wuhan, we present three underlying mechanisms driving our findings: anticipatory effects, spillover effects, and a city’s level of connection with Wuhan. Our findings are more pronounced in cities whose population was more willing to self-isolate or more susceptible to anxiety, or whose government faces less pressure to stimulate economic growth. Overall, this study contributes to the literature by evaluating the unintended consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak for air quality, and provides timely policy implications for policymakers.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • COVID-19 and EU Climate Targets: Can We Now Go Further'
    • Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on the 2030 EU CO2 emissions target, considering a range of economic growth scenarios. With lower economic activity resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, we find that existing climate policy measures could overshoot the current 40% EU target in 2030. If policymakers consequently relax climate policy measures to maintain the 2030 target, the opportunity will be missed to align EU climate policy with longer-term Paris emissions mitigation goals. Our analysis highlights that although existing climate policy measures will likely reduce emissions more than 40% by 2030 in the wake of the pandemic, they will not be enough to meet the Paris agreement. More stringent measures, such as those proposed under the Green New Deal, will still be needed and may be less costly than previously estimated.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Green Stimulus in a Post-pandemic Recovery: the Role of Skills for a
           Resilient Recovery
    • Abstract: Abstract As nations struggle to restart their economy after COVID-19 lockdowns, calls to include green investments in a pandemic-related stimulus are growing. Yet little research provides evidence of the effectiveness of a green stimulus. We begin by summarizing recent research on the effectiveness of the green portion of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on employment growth. Green investments are most effective in communities whose workers have the appropriate “green” skills. We then provide new evidence on the skills requirements of both green and brown occupations, as well as from occupations at risk of job losses due to COVID-19, to illustrate which workers are most likely to benefit from a pandemic-related green stimulus. We find similarities between some energy sector workers and green jobs, but a poor match between green jobs and occupations at risk due to COVID-19. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence on the potential for job training programs to help ease the transition to a green economy.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Assessing Short-Term and Long-Term Economic and Environmental Effects of
           the COVID-19 Crisis in France
    • Abstract: Abstract In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the French government has imposed drastic lockdown measures for a period of 55 days. This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the economic and environmental impacts of these measures in the short and long term. We use a Computable General Equilibrium model designed to assess environmental and energy policies impacts at the macroeconomic and sectoral levels. We find that the lockdown has led to a significant decrease in economic output of 5% of GDP, but a positive environmental impact with a 6.6% reduction in CO2 emissions in 2020. Both decreases are temporary: economic and environmental indicators return to their baseline trajectory after a few years. CO2 emissions even end up significantly higher after the COVID-19 crisis when we account for persistently low oil prices. We then investigate whether implementing carbon pricing can still yield positive macroeconomic dividends in the post-COVID recovery. We find that implementing ambitious carbon pricing speeds up economic recovery while significantly reducing CO2 emissions. By maintaining high fossil fuel prices, carbon taxation reduces the imports of fossil energy and stimulates energy efficiency investments while the full redistribution of tax proceeds does not hamper the recovery.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Charting a “Green Path” for Recovery from COVID-19
    • Abstract: Abstract Should the economic recovery from the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) be green' The current crisis is so severe that we should not take the answer for granted. It requires serious thought and we start by reviewing some arguments for and against a green approach. A crucial element is of course to see how different industries fare in the current crisis. Our empirical contribution is to examine daily stock returns for firms from the STOXX Europe 600 index. We find that firms with higher carbon intensities experienced significantly large decreases in stock values particularly those within the crude petroleum extraction, air transport and coke and refined petroleum industries. Our tentative conclusion is that efforts to revitalize the economy should avoid subsidizing stranded assets and instead target the industries of the future. However, identifying these will not necessarily be easy. We find, for example, that having an official ESG “climate change policy” has no effect on firm performance during the pandemic. We suggest possible ways of designing a new form of more informative index.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • Real-Time Estimation of the Short-Run Impact of COVID-19 on Economic
           Activity Using Electricity Market Data
    • Abstract: Abstract In response to the COVID-19 emergency, many countries have introduced a series of social-distancing measures including lockdowns and businesses’ shutdowns, in an attempt to curb the spread of the infection. Accordingly, the pandemic has been generating unprecedented disruption on practically every aspect of society. This paper demonstrates that high-frequency electricity market data can be used to estimate the causal, short-run impacts of COVID-19 on the economy, providing information that is essential for shaping future lockdown policy. Unlike official statistics, which are published with a delay of a few months, our approach permits almost real-time monitoring of the economic impact of the containment policies and the financial stimuli introduced to address the crisis. We illustrate our methodology using daily data for the Italian day-ahead power market. We estimate that the 3 weeks of most severe lockdown reduced the corresponding Italian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by roughly 30%. Such negative impacts are now progressively declining but, at the end of June 2020, GDP is still about 8.5% lower than it would have been without the outbreak.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • The Effects of Air Pollution on COVID-19 Related Mortality in Northern
    • Abstract: Abstract Long-term exposure to ambient air pollutant concentrations is known to cause chronic lung inflammation, a condition that may promote increased severity of COVID-19 syndrome caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). In this paper, we empirically investigate the ecologic association between long-term concentrations of area-level fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and excess deaths in the first quarter of 2020 in municipalities of Northern Italy. The study accounts for potentially spatial confounding factors related to urbanization that may have influenced the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 and related COVID-19 mortality. Our epidemiological analysis uses geographical information (e.g., municipalities) and negative binomial regression to assess whether both ambient PM2.5 concentration and excess mortality have a similar spatial distribution. Our analysis suggests a positive association of ambient PM2.5 concentration on excess mortality in Northern Italy related to the COVID-19 epidemic. Our estimates suggest that a one-unit increase in PM2.5 concentration (µg/m3) is associated with a 9% (95% confidence interval: 6–12%) increase in COVID-19 related mortality.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
  • COVID-19 Tests the Market Stability Reserve
    • Abstract: Abstract We compare the decrease in energy demand and CO2 emissions in Europe during the financial crisis 2008–2009 with the expected drop in demand and emissions due to COVID-19, and the price response of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS). We ask whether the rather limited current price reduction may be due to the Market Stability Reserve (MSR), implemented in the EU ETS between the two crises. Stylized facts and basic theory are complemented with simulations based on a model of the EU ETS. Together, they suggest a mixed result. The MSR stabilizes the EU ETS price in turbulent times, but imperfectly. We show that the more persistent the COVID-19 shock is, the less the MSR is able to serve its purpose.
      PubDate: 2020-08-04
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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