A new paper published in Nature Climate Change by Joyce Chen and Valerie Mueller shows that people living in coastal Bangladesh already adapt to climate change by moving short-distances. Rising sea levels increase soil salinity, harming certain crops. Based on historical migration patterns, increasing soil salinity from the lowest to the highest levels observed along the coast would prompt approximately 200,000 people to move in a single year. Most migrants would move within their native district. Without financial support or resettlement programs, these vulnerable populations are likely to have limited economic and spatial mobility. Dr. Mueller discusses her findings and their implications for climate policy in her interview for ASU now and in her blog on Nature Research.
A new NBER working paper by Kelly Bishop, Jonathan Ketcham and Nicolai Kuminoff links 15 years of Medicare records for 6.9 million older adults to EPA data on fine-particulate air pollution. They find that a 1 microgram per cubic meter increase in exposure over a decade (about 9% of the national average) increases the probability of being diagnosed with dementia by 1.3 percentage points (about 7% of the national average). This suggests that regulation of air pollution has greater economic benefits than previously known, in part because dementia impairs financial decision making. Their research was covered by the Washington Post and Fortune.
A new working paper, titled Voluntary Climate Action and Credible Regulatory Threat: Evidence from the Carbon Disclosure Project, by Lily Hsueh shows that while legal challenges and political change kept the Clean Power Plan (CPP) from being implemented, the temporary threat of regulation prompted corporations to take preemptive action. Professor Hsueh analyzed Fortune 500 companies’ voluntary carbon disclosures—a form of industry self-regulation in climate mitigation. Before the CPP was introduced, U.S. and non-U.S. firms disclosed at similar levels. After EPA introduced the CPP, U.S. firms disclosed at higher levels. Further, those with climate change managers operating in carbon intensive sectors—energy, utilities, and materials—were two to three times more likely to disclose. Professor Hsueh summarized her findings for The Regulatory Review..
Recreational fishing is a culturally and economically important practice around the world. In the United States alone, more than 9.5 million anglers take 63 million fishing trips per year, providing food, leisure and connection to nature while creating opportunities for employment in coastal communities. These leisure trips also contribute to costly overfishing. Worldwide reforms to fishery management practices could create valuable benefits to anglers and related sectors — benefits that could total one billion dollars in value annually in the U.S., according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by CEESP professor Joshua Abbott. His study is summarized here.
The carbon tax needed to meet climate goals is smaller than you might think. In new research published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, CEESP professor Stephie Fried shows how a tax on carbon emissions could cause technological innovation, lower the price of green energy and increase economic growth. Professor Fried’s analysis is based partly on evidence of innovations that followed an unexpected oil price shock in the 1970s that mimicked the effect of a carbon tax. Her findings were featured by the American Economic Association.
In the last century, California has issued water rights that amount to roughly five times the state’s average annual runoff, underscoring a chronic imbalance between supply and demand. Michael Hanemann has studied the issue and says it is not that the state has issued too many water rights, but rather that enforcement of water rights is lacking.
The opening of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in 2014 marks a new era of reflection toward enhancing homeland security regulation in the United States. In the context of this new era, it is necessary to consider how policy intended to reinforce homeland security is evaluated. V. Kerry Smith and Carol Mansfield are co-editors of a new book on U.S. homeland security policies and regulations. Available January 2015.
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes new restrictions on power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a move that is likely to accelerate a shift away from coal. By 2030 the new regulation would cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30% from previous levels — the equivalent of taking two-thirds of all cars and truck in America off the road.
Smog across northern China has surged to record levels. Deadly pollutants up to 40 times the recommended exposure limit in Beijing and other cities have struck fear into parents and led them to take steps that are radically altering the nature of urban life for their children. Parents are confining sons and daughters to their homes, schools are canceling outdoor activities and field trips. Families are choosing schools based on air-filtration systems, and some international schools have built gigantic, futuristic-looking domes over sports fields to ensure healthy breathing.
Don’t forget the caregivers. This is the lesson from the EPA sponsored research on the effects of air pollution on the elderly and children by Mary Evans and Christine Poulos along with the Center’s researcher V. Kerry Smith.
Not all security secrets are equally important to keep. A representative sample of U.S. residents would give up some security to have information that relates to airline travel. Research by Carol Mansfield, Allen Klaiber and Kerry Smith finds that information disclosure can be important regardless of the consequences when it comes to air travel.
Economists have long contended that neighborhoods can offer people a “spatial supermarket” of amenity choices. Sorting out the signals of tradeoffs that are important to people from spatial clutter requires creative use of geography. Professors Joshua Abbott and Allen Klaiber offer those insights in measuring the role of different types of open space amenities.
Academic “shoe leather” and clever research designs can recover subtle effects of policy—intended or not. Recovering measures of people’s economic tradeoffs can require more. Research by Professors Nicolai Kuminoff and Jaren Pope explains the difference and why it is important to the revolution sweeping through the literature on policy evaluation.
Residential water demand is heterogeneous. Past efforts to consistently model demand responses to water prices have focused on the incentives stemming from increasing block pricing and given less attention to the heterogeneity in demands. The later may well be more important to flexible water management that assures basic services can be paid for and water scarcity is recognized. Professor Michael Hanemann has pioneered the leading research in this area. Dr. Kent Zhao, recent CEESP Post-Doctoral Fellow has extended this work by developing innovative methods for unpacking the sources for the diversity in water demands.
Consumers want to be empowered to manage food safety risks. As the German people suggested in June 2011, centralized management will be increasingly challenged to be responsive. A survey conducted in 2007, anticipated the demands for private strategies to enhance food safety.
Nobel Laureate Ed Prescott and V. Kerry Smith brought leading macro-theorists and environmental economists to the Southwest with the support of the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Decision Center for a Desert City, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Their goal was to launch a continuing dialogue that will redirect both fields so each considers the interaction between aggregate economic conditions and the environment.