Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mankiw on Oil Shocks

Mankiw asks:
Oil prices are near record highs, which raises a fascinating question. In recent years, the U.S. and world economies have typically shrugged off oil price increases. By contrast, oil price increases are a major part of the conventional story of the economic turmoil of the 1970s. Why the difference?

Read Mankiw’s view at Where have all the oil shocks gone?.
See also my previous post on the topic.

Lessons from the Irish plastic bags levy

The September issue of Environmental & resource economics publishes an interesting article by Frank Convery, Simon McDonnell, and Susana Ferreira on the Irish plastic bag levy. Here is the abstract:

There have been occasional ad hoc efforts to influence consumer behaviour by the imposition of product taxes that reflect external costs imposed by such products that are not initially included in their price. In the spirit of this idea, in 2002 Ireland introduced a 15 Euro cent tax on plastic shopping bags, previously provided free of charge to customers at points of sale. The effect of the tax on the use of plastic bags in retail outlets has been dramatic–a reduction in use in the order of 90%, and an associated gain in the form of reduced littering and negative landscape effects. Costs of administration have been very low, amounting to about 3% of revenues, because it was possible to integrate reporting and collection into existing Value Added Tax reporting systems. Response from the main stakeholders: the public and the retail industry, has been overwhelmingly positive. Central to this acceptance has been a policy of extensive consultation with these stakeholders. The fact that a product tax can influence consumer behaviour significantly will be of interest to many policymakers in this area. This paper analyses the plastic bag levy success story and provides insights and general guidelines for other jurisdictions planning similar proposals.

Reference

The most popular tax in Europe? Lessons from the Irish plastic bags levy
Frank Convery, Simon McDonnell, Susana Ferreira. Environmental and Resource Economics. Dordrecht: Sep 2007. Vol. 38, Iss. 1; p. 1-11.

Economic Environmental Law -seminar 25.-26.10.2007 call for papers

The three themes selected for the event are:

Economic Environmental law – general and special issues Environmental Protection Technology and Law European Waste Law, Policy and Technology

Special theme on afternoon 25 October will be European Waste Law and Industrial Side-flows.

Key note speakers:
Professor, Dr. Ludwig Krämer, University of Bremen, Germany Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court, Dr. Pekka Vihervuori, Supreme Administrative Court, Finland Professor, Dr. Gert van Calster, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium Professor, Dr. Christoph Bey, University of La Rochelle, France

Interested contributors are invited to submit proposals. There are two morning sessions for researchers presentations (20 min each). Abstracts (150 words)are asked to be sent no later than 3 August to riikka.hietanen@hut.fi Final version of the papers should be available some weeks before the seminar.

Call for papers at http://users.tkk.fi/~mwarsta/seminar.html

Household participation in green-electricity programs

Matthew J. Kotchen and Michael R. Moore discuss the design of green-electricity programs and its impact on green-electricity capacity in the paper ‘Private provision of environmental public goods: Household participation in green-electricity programs‘ in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 1-16 January 2007 see abstract .

The two types of green-electricity programs examined are:

1) programs based on a voluntary contribution mechanism, whereby a household donates money to finance an increase in the capacity for generating electricity from renewable sources (pure public good type mechanism).

2) green tariff mechanisms in which the household pays a price premium, that is, a higher tariff per kilowatt-hour of consumption, for green electricity (impure public good type mechanism).