Environmental Economics

Stand-up economist: Grading Economics Textbooks on Climate Change

Environmental Economics

Yoram Bauman:  This is the fifth such review I’ve been involved in and it is almost certainly the last review I’ll be doing, for the simple reason that the vast majority of textbooks now have excellent content on climate change! (If

The Information Value of Pigouvian Pricing

Environmental Economics

I recently read an article in the journal Economics and Philosophy , written by Lisa Herzog , which has nothing whatsoever to do with environmental economics but nonetheless I think has interesting implications for it and for Pigouvian pricing in particular.  

2020 164
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Reply to "Reply to Whitehead" by Desvousges, Mathews and Train: (4) My treatment of the weighted WTP is biased in favor of the DMT (2015) result/conclusion

Environmental Economics

DMT (2020) draw attention to my treatment of the weighted WTP estimates. The regression model for the second scenario has a negative sign for the constant and a positive sign for the slope.

2020 141

Reply to "Reply to Whitehead" by Desvousges, Mathews and Train: (2) What is the effect of negative WTP?

Environmental Economics

When dichotomous choice CVM data is of low quality, the measure of central tendancy is sensitive to assumptions. As I showed in a paper presented earlier this year (Landry and Whitehed 2020), with the highest quality data it makes no difference the WTP estimator that is used.

2020 141

Reply to "Reply to Whitehead" by Desvousges, Mathews and Train (the correction)

Environmental Economics

As described in the introduction of my (draft) "Reply to 'Reply to Whitehead'" , I suspect that I have used the incorrect confidence intervals when analyzing the Desvousges, Mathews and Train (2015) data.

2020 141

Reply to "Reply to Whitehead" by Desvousges, Mathews and Train (an introduction)

Environmental Economics

Desvousges, Mathews and Train ( Land Economics, 2015 ) use the contingent valuation method (CVM) to conduct an adding-up test (i.e., does WTP A + WTP B = WTP A+B ?). They use the nonparametric Turnbull estimator and find that the data do not pass the adding-up test.

2020 141

Reply to "Reply to Whitehead" by Desvousges, Mathews and Train: (1) Is the log-linear model meaningless?

Environmental Economics

When dichotomous choice CVM data has a negative WTP problem, one of the standard corrections is to estimate a log-linear model and present the median WTP. With many estimated log-linear models the mean WTP is undefined.

2020 130

Thanks for wearing a mask today!

Environmental Economics

2020 133

My comment on the Desvousges, Mathews and Train (2015) adding-up test article has been published at Ecological Economics

Environmental Economics

I first wrote about this in September 2016. I then submitted the comment to Land Economics. The editor sent me the results of an internal review and I revised it accordingly. Then he sent it out for external review and it received a favorable review in February 2017.

2020 130

Teaching environmental and resource economics: A bibliography

Environmental Economics

Alden, Dave. "Experience "Experience with scripted role play in environmental economics." " The Journal of Economic Education 30, no. 2 (1999): 127-132. Anderson, Soren T., and Michael D. Bates. "Hedonic

2020 130

Mnuchin vs. Thunberg vs. Neoclassical Economics

Environmental Economics

Last week Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insulted climate activist and Time Person of the Year Greta Thunberg by claiming that she shouldn't talk about climate policy before studying economics and college.    When asked about her suggestion for public divestment from fossil fuel companies, Mnuchin said: Is she the chief economist, or who is she? I'm confused. It's a joke. After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us.

2020 149

Luxexcel adds 3D printed prescription lenses to Vuzix AR headsets

Environmental Economics

Ophthalmic lens manufacturer Luxexcel has teamed up with augmented reality (AR) headset and eyewear company Vuzix to produce a range of 3D printed prescription lenses. The prescription inserts are designed especially for the Vuzix Blade AR Smart Sunglasses, and will be launched at CES Las Vegas 2018. The development of smart ophthalmic lenses Unlike the standard […].

2018 218

Price Gouging during the Pandemic

Environmental Economics

The global coronavirus pandemic is an emergency.    Whenever there is an emergency (think hurricanes, earthquakes), there are accusations of price gouging.    And whenever there are accusations of price gouging, there are economists who step in and argue that actually price gouging is good, and that anti-gouging laws are bad. Normal people (i.e. non-economists) seem to be pretty unanimous in thinking that price gouging is bad and should be regulated.

2020 126

There is no longer an Environmental Economics Advisory Committee at the EPA

Environmental Economics

From the inbox: Dear colleagues, I want to inform you of recent decisions regarding standing committees under the auspices of the Science Advisory Board (SAB).      On the recommendation of the SAB Staff Office, the SAB, unanimously agreed, at our 5/31/18 administrative meeting, to retire three of our current seven standing committees.

2018 183

New working paper: "Willingness Toupee"

Environmental Economics

Willingness Toupee. David M. McEvoy, O. Ashton Morgan and John C, Whitehead. No 19-01, Working Papers from Department of Economics, Appalachian State University. Abstract: In this paper we tackle the hairy problem of male pattern baldness. We survey balding men and elicit their willingness to pay to move from their current sad situation to a more plentiful one. Then we comb-over the results. What’s the average willingness to pay to move from a glistening cue ball to a luscious mane?

2019 157

RFF | Request for Proposals: Retrospective Studies of Regulatory Performance

Environmental Economics

I'm posting this RFP at the request of Dick Morgenstern and Art Fraas. This is a great project. coincidentally, I recently purchased Economic Analysis a the EPA , ed. by Morgenstern and have read the intro, conclusions, and all the parts about estimating benefits. The book is highly recommended for a better understanding of what policy analysts do with our benefit estimates.    From the website < [link] > here are excerpts from the RFP: Overview.

2020 109

Here is Episode 1 of Anything but Dismal (aka, "The Pilot")

Environmental Economics

Here is the website: [link]. Episode 1: Sports. Reporter: John Whitehead. Release date: July 15, 2020 9:00 pm ET. In this episode, we look at how the pandemic has impacted sports and sporting events and how we can open the pro sports season again. Reporter John Whitehead speaks with sports economists Pam Wicker and Brad Humphreys about the spread of COVID-19 at sporting events, the use of bubbles in training, and the implications of ghost games for the players and the fans.

2020 100

Nature is hiring an environmental economics editor

Environmental Economics

I'm looking forward to hearing who gets hired for this job: Nature, the international weekly journal of science, seeks to appoint an editor specializing in Environmental/Energy Economics to further our aim to publish the world’s best original research linking social sciences – including economics – to the physical and biological processes important to society.

2019 122

Take the "What Are Things REALLY Worth?" survey!

Environmental Economics

I did and I'm only mildly traumatized (how in the world did this get past the IRB???): Stanford, CA —  How valuable are the things that money cannot buy? Dr. Tim Kane, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is running a week-long research survey to find out. This survey, in the format of an “economic beauty contest,” as described by economist John Maynard Keynes, is open to all American adults during the first full week of September.

2019 122

Predicting Adaptation to Climate Change using Regional Heterogeneity in Mortality Effects of Temperature

Environmental Economics

  I am glad to have gotten an invitation from John to guest-blog here.    I am an Associate Professor of economics at the Andrew Young School at Georgia State University. My research on environmental economics is in solar geoengineering , health effects of air pollution and climate change , behavioral economics , and some other stuff.    I teach environmental economics at the undergraduate and PhD level.

2018 162

Graphic of the Day: I'm just going to leave this here while I wipe my tears.

Environmental Economics

2019 126

WAPO: Americans broadly accept climate science.

Environmental Economics

Over half say driving cars and burning fossils fuels are major contributors ( link ). This  This is In spite of everything [*]: Americans remain shaky on the details of climate science even as they have grown increasingly concerned about human activity warming the Earth, according to a national poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) that probed the public’s understanding of climate change. The rising alarm is one of the poll’s most dramatic findings.

2019 109

Ten Years of Select Economic Data in Graphs

Environmental Economics

A pet peeve of mine as an economist is giving too much credit to the current quarterback , er.President for [economic] wins and too much blame for [economic] losses.    To give a better picture of what's going on with the economy, here are some graphs of the past decade of select economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.      I'll leave it to others to draw conclusions. 1) Median Household Income in the U.S.

2017 159

Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act Symposium in Journal of Economic Perspectives

Environmental Economics

The most recent issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives features a three-article symposium on the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Though that's an iffy anniversary: the CWA was passed in 1972, so it's only 50 with rounding, and the CAA was originally passed in 1963, though the 1970 amendments contained much of the most important stuff.).

2019 109

Krugman on renewables

Environmental Economics

I'm not sure I'm as optimistic as Krugman but the attempt to reduce the use of from renewable energy is likely a huge mistake (in terms of dynamic efficiency): Not that long ago, calls for a move to wind and solar power were widely perceived as impractical if not hippie-dippy silly.

Renew 149

Climate change book reviews: do nothing, do a little, do a lot (or just drink beer?)

Environmental Economics

2018 136

"MARINE RESOURCE ECONOMICS ANNOUNCES NEW CASE STUDIES SECTION"

Environmental Economics

I'm shouting because the journal is shouting: Marine Resource Economics  is now accepting submissions for a new section of the journal titled Case Studies, which is intended to provide an outlet for rigorous, theoretically grounded analyses of the governance of individual fisheries and/or aquaculture systems.

2019 109

Daily demand and supply: the market for rhodium

Environmental Economics

From the WSJ Microeconomics Weekly Review: World’s Priciest Precious Metal Surges Amid Emissions Clampdown. By Joe Wallace | January 23, 2020. Summary: Because of limited supplies and rising demand, the price of rhodium, a metal used to strip pollutants from automobile exhaust fumes, has surged in 2020. Rhodium is a byproduct of mining for platinum, palladium and gold.

2020 100

I have a few follow-up questions.

Environmental Economics

There seems to be a climate change pattern emerging.in the administration's response to questions about climate change. USDA Secretary Sonny] Perdue told CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich in the interview released Tuesday that "we don't know" the cause of climate change, adding, "and obviously scientists -- many scientists believe that it's human caused, other scientists believe it's not," Perdue responded.   "So if it's not human caused, then what is it?"

2019 116

Thank you EU, I guess this means more cheap whiskey for me.oh, and there's an economic lesson in here too.

Environmental Economics

Don't take this as support for tariffs, my inner economist is strongly opposed to tariffs on economic efficiency grounds, but my inner hillbilly is slightly happy that an EU tariff on American whiskey is likely to lower U.S. whiskey prices (at least in the short run).    Life can't be all beer. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey prices will rise in the European Union (EU) due to the member countries’ new 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. whiskey. Brown-Forman Corp.

2018 140

Martin Weitzman: 1942 - 2019

Environmental Economics

Here is his Wikipedia page: [link]. And here is Rob Stavins on twitter: It is painful for me to convey the sad news that my Harvard colleague, mentor, and friend, Marty Weitzman, died unexpectedly yesterday. Many tributes will be forthcoming, but as a memory for now, here is a related essay I wrote last year: [link]. Robert N. Stavins (@RobertStavins) August 28, 2019. Here are a few old posts: EconTalk Podcast: Martin Weitzman on Climate Change   Weitzman on climate change.

2019 109

"Here's what it could cost for America to buy Greenland"

Environmental Economics

If history is any guide, the autonomous Danish territory is worth at least $1 billion. In 1946, the United States offered Denmark $100 million in gold to buy Greenland, according to documents in the US National Archives. That's equivalent to $1.3 billion today, taking inflation into account. via www.cnn.com.

2019 109

Today's "Moment of Happiness"

Environmental Economics

This is a good one for the beginning of the semester: “The desire of being believed, the desire of persuading, of leading, and directing other people, seems to be one of the strongest of all our natural desires.” -- Adam Smith,  The Theory of Moral Sentiments. From:  "Gretchen Rubin" < info@gretchenrubin.com >

2019 109

'Buck up, this is college'

Environmental Economics

An interesting read on the emotional fragility of college students today.    I probably would've used a different phrase than 'Buck up,' but the point is well-taken.    Faculty at the meetings noted that students’ emotional fragility has become a serious problem when in comes to grading. Some

2015 203

Paying people to live in rural areas

Environmental Economics

My state, Georgia, has created a Rural Development Council to address the issues facing rural Georgia.    (For instance, access to health care is pretty bad.).

2018 142

A: Because it's better than acting like an obnoxious teenager

Environmental Economics

When I mention what I do (come up with ways to estimate the value of environmental goods and services), I sometimes get a response like this :   It really is irritating that some people need to use economic measures to value our environment. The reality is our environment, air, water, seas, national parks & Great Barrier Reef are truly priceless & must be treated as such ie no cost benefit BS studies needed. My response is really quite simple. 

2018 130

A critique of CBA from the 90s

Environmental Economics

I've just read Elizabeth Anderson 's critique of the use of cost-benefit analysis in environmental and workplace safety policy.    (It was written in 1995, so I'm a little behind.)    It appears in chapter 9 of her book Value in Ethics and Economics and is reprinted in the anthology Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. It's a good read for those who estimate the value of a statistical life of the willingness to pay for improvements in air quality. 

2018 135

"An Oath for Scientists"

Environmental Economics

I swear that I will, according to my ability and judgment, protect the credibility of science by carrying out this oath and this indenture.

2018 145

Recommended reading: Another important VSL paper

Environmental Economics

Why not? Monetizing Bowser: A Contingent Valuation of the Statistical Value of Dog Life. Deven Carlson, Simon Haeder, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Joseph Ripberger  Abstract. Households in the USA spend about $70 billion annually on pets. Dogs, the most common pet, can be found in nearly half of American households.

2019 100

"Environmental Policy and the Assault on Science" - Policy keynote lecture with Gina McCarthy, former administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama presidency

Environmental Economics

Gina McCarthy's keynote at the recent World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists has drawn rave reviews from twitter and the inbox. So, here it is in case you had to teach summer school to save money for your kid's college (like me

2018 133

A short comment on a discrete choice experiment in the AER*

Environmental Economics

A cool new paper is the first (?) to use a discrete choice experiment in the AER: Mas, Alexandre, and Amanda Pallais. 2017. "Valuing "Valuing Alternative Work Arrangements." " American Economic Review, 107(12): 3722-59. Abstract: We employ a discrete choice experiment in the employment process for a national call center to estimate the willingness to pay distribution for alternative work arrangements relative to traditional office positions.

2017 146

Yucks and grins

Environmental Economics

From the Stand-up Economist email :  Details on upcoming shows:  See my  web calendar  for all the details, but FYI the  San Diego  show in January is the 12th Annual American Economic Association Humor Session at the  ASSA conference , where I'll also be a discussant on a (serious) paper at an  environmental economics session  on Friday afternoon.

2019 100

If you hold your breath, air quality doesn't matter either

Environmental Economics

And then there's this. Citing the risk of conflicts of interest, the EPA administrator instituted  a sweeping change  to the agency’s core system of advisory panels on Tuesday, restricting membership to scientists who don’t receive EPA grants. In practice, the move represents “a major purge of independent scientists,” Terry F. Yosie, chair of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board during the Reagan administration,  told the Washington Post.

2017 148