Jeffrey D. Sachs
The problem of climate change is typically discussed as a problem of intergenerational tradeoffs. Typically, it is supposed that the current generations must make sacrifices today for the improved well-being of future generations. The case for climate change mitigation becomes a question of the balancing of current and future well-being, for example, according to a social discount factor. Though this approach is common, the perspective is too narrow. By using intergenerational fiscal policy, it may be possible to fund climate change mitigation with public debt, so that in effect future generations bear both the costs and the benefits of climate change mitigation. In this way, the social discount rate is not relevant. What is relevant is whether future generations would indeed be willing to pay the price of mitigation in return for reduced climate change. The current generation must act as a steward for future generations, assessing whether future generations would (or should) be willing to bear the costs of mitigation. If so, today’s generation would undertake mitigation actions, while leaving future generations with a higher stock of public debt to service.
Luis Miguel Albisu, Azucena Gracia, and Ana Isabel Sanjuán
This article reviews only those empirical works that report results on the influence of sociodemographic factors on food consumption. It highlights those recent papers that can be helpful to the interested reader as a base from which to explore further aspects of demographics and food consumption. Reviewed empirical studies analyze the influence of demographics on food consumption following the two different approaches. This article presents the main demographic trends in developed countries. It gathers empirical evidence about the effect of demographic factors on food consumers' preferences for different food attributes, classified for pedagogical purposes in the following categories: ethics (organics, fair trade, and animal welfare), food safety and health (food safety, healthy diets, genetic modification, and irradiation), local and typical produce, ethnicity, and convenience. Finally, it concludes with some remarks and comments about emerging trends for future research.
Mika Kato, Stefan Mittnik, Daniel Samaan, and Willi Semmler
One of the major instruments that has been proposed to stop global warming is a carbon tax.. A main obstacle for its implementation, however, are concerns about the short-term effects on employment and output. To mitigate possible negative effects, several European countries have introduced so-called environmental tax reforms, which are designed in a budget-neutral manner: Revenues from the tax can be used to reduce existing distortionary taxes or to subsidize less polluting activities. We apply this idea to a carbon tax scheme by performing a vector autoregression (VAR) with output and employment data of nine industrialized countries. We impose a simultaneous policy shock on the economy whereby a carbon tax is levied on high-carbon–intensive industries and the resulting tax revenue is redistributed to low-carbon-intensive industries. Impulse response analysis shows that such a policy allows for net gains in terms of output and employment.
Finn R. Førsund
The materials balance tells us that matter cannot be created or destroyed. The mass contained in inputs must either be contained in the outputs or contained in residuals. Residuals are discharged to the external environment and are pollutants if harmful effects arise. Damages are measured by the willingness to pay for environmental qualities. Static productivity is measured by a ratio of an output index, subtracted damages measured in money, on a multifactor input index. Static productivity will decrease when considering damages, but the social productivity change may go both up and down. A model considering both desirable and undesirable outputs should contain two types of relations: a production function for the desirable outputs, and one for the undesirable outputs. One way of doing this is to specify the functions to have the same set of inputs. This is the factorially determined multi-output model of Frisch. Productivity change measures can be calculated for each type of output separately using a Malmquist index.