Roger Claassen, Joseph Cooper, Cristina Salvioni, and Marcella Veronesi
Although agri-environmental programs have a long history in the United States and the European Union, such programs began to play a larger role in federal farm policies in the 1980s, in part due to greater concern about environmental damage from agricultural production. Both regions rely primarily on a mixture of three types of policy mechanisms to address agri-environmental issues: voluntary incentive-based programs, regulatory programs, and cross-compliance programs. This chapter provides an overview and comparison of EU and US agri-environmental programs. It then reviews what is known about the environmental and land use impacts of these programs. The chapter also discusses US and EU data sources that are key to analysis of agri-environmental programs and their land use impacts.
Stéphan Marette and Jutta Roosen
This article traces consumers' reluctance toward new technologies in the food domain and the nature of controversies. It argues that there are economic considerations in discussion of public policy on controversies. This article seeks to address the issues of controversy, the market concerns by such problems, and the reasons that controversies have become so prominent in many food markets. It further clarifies how to approach the question of an optimal policy by studying when a regulator should promote labels compared to other tools such as standards or a ban. This article presents some of the main contributions in both the empirical and theoretical literature, so as to provide economists or policymakers with resources and help to inform their decisions. It then discusses methods of quantifying the welfare impact of a ban or label on the controversial good. It concludes with a discussion of the implications for public policy.
Alexander A. Golub, Mikhail Kozeltsev, Alexander Martusevich, and Elena Strukova
The chapter considers improvements of environmental regulation as an important precondition for steady economic growth in Russia. Estimated costs of urban air pollution in Russia reach 4–5 percent of GDP. Human health risk constitutes the single largest part of environmental damage from air pollution in the country. We provide a detailed account for costs of environmental pollution, discuss the history of environmental regulation in Russia, and outline a way forward with key principles and recommendations for reform. Environmental regulation should address externalities and create explicit or implicit price of pollution to send market signals for private and public capital to be deployed into new technologies and shift to a “greener” (sustainable) and more inclusive economic growth. Risk indicators could be a central element for setting emission targets. A risk-based approach to environmental regulation can be complemented by a tax imposed on energy or, better yet, on CO2 emission.
Helen H. Jensen
This article provides an overview of the changes in nutrient content of the food supply in the United States and then describes core concepts used in the assessment of the adequacy of (or excess in) diets. Factors that affect nutrient availability in the food supply—such as the convergence of dietary patterns and food production and processing and distribution technologies—affect nutrient content. The article also discusses the fortification of food products and technological interventions to change the nutritional content of available foods. This has important implications for health. Economic factors play an important role in determining the available nutrients in the food supply. Finally, the article concludes that understanding the strength of consumer preference, and changes in preference across income levels, offers the opportunity to tie foods more closely to health outcomes.
This chapter gives a brief survey of dynamic games in macro models of climate change and, then, studies a simple endogenous growth model that includes an energy balance model. The world is composed of heterogeneous regions that differ with respect to their production technologies and with respect to the damages they suffer from climate change. The government in each region sets the abatement share such that inter temporal welfare is maximized. The analysis shows that less developed countries with more polluting technologies and higher damages from climate change should spend a higher share of GDP for abatement. But, nevertheless, these countries may still emit more greenhouse gases than countries with cleaner technologies and smaller damages. This holds both for the non-cooperative as well as for the cooperative world. Poor regions profit most from cooperation compared to the non-cooperative case
Average temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere have begun an upward trend that is largely irreversible over the next century, regardless of climate policy options currently under discussion. With large coastal populations and extensive reliance on tropical and snow-fed agrifood systems, the Pacific Rim faces momentous challenges from climate risk. This chapter reviews conceptual issues, evidence, and policy options for addressing regional climate risk.
Robert J. Johnston, Stephen K. Swallow, Dana Marie Bauer, Emi Uchida, and Christopher M. Anderson
This chapter describes methods, challenges, and prospects involved in the evaluation of linkages among ecosystem services, land use, and economic values. It begins with a discussion of current research devoted to the analysis, quantification, and valuation of ecosystem services related to land use. This is followed by a review of relationships between methods used for these analyses and the accuracy, precision, and relevance of empirical results. The chapter concludes with two illustrative applications that elucidate some of the challenges faced when linking ecosystem services to land use, as well as the use of resulting information to guide policy. The first application outlines the use of a bioeconomic model to inform land use controls based on ecosystem service provision. The second application illustrates potential mechanisms to incorporate ecosystem service values into landowner choices through the development of prospective payments for ecosystem services.
Economic consequences of critical transitions or regime shifts of ecological systems are a source of considerable concern. Though the underlying mechanisms are well known, only since the advent of electronic computers the analysis of economic models exhibiting critical transitions can be attacked systematically. In particular, bifurcation theory allows one to present the qualitative effects of parameter changes in a convenient way. This chapter gives an overview of recent economic literature dealing with potential environmental regime shifts with a focus on the lake model.
David J. Lewis and Erik Nelson
The challenge of how to slow the rate of decline in wildlife populations presents a significant public goods provision challenge to economists. This chapter synthesizes a set of outstanding economic issues associated with the efficient design of wildlife conservation. The analysis emphasizes three primary challenges: landowner incentives created by land use regulatory approaches may not promote wildlife conservation, the problem of defining benefits and considering broader landscape dynamics when deciding where to purchase habitat set-asides, and problems of asymmetric information and spatially dependent benefits with incentive-based conservation payments. Our main arguments are illustrated with several simple extensions to prior studies, and we explore future research directions.
Joshua M. Duke
This chapter summarizes eminent domain jurisprudence and the main economic approaches to analyzing eminent domain. Eminent domain potentially corrects two inefficiencies in land markets: (1) inefficiency from holdouts and (2) the undersupply of public goods from urban redevelopment. The original model developed in this chapter shows that eminent domain also affects the performance of the land assembly market, and thus market failure must be assessed in light of a third potential land market inefficiency induced by the option for eminent domain. The results also suggest that information asymmetry is a cause of land assembly market failure. The model identifies conditions under which eminent domain is likely to be more efficient than private assembly and vice versa. This model helps assess recent controversies arising following the Kelo case in eminent domain jurisprudence, and it offers a new opportunity for further economic investigation of urban land market failures.
This chapter notes that Latin America as a region is self-sufficient in energy and indeed a net exporter. After looking at the regional energy matrix in the second section, the third section examines the legal changes in the hydrocarbon sector in the 1990s and in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The fourth section looks at investment patterns in this sector in recent years, where the weight of state-owned enterprises is very high. The fifth and sixth sections examine the growing importance of two energy sources: natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, which has become more important for both domestic consumption and regional integration; and renewable energy, particularly biofuels, a recent addition to the region's energy matrix. The seventh section analyses regional integration initiatives. The eighth section presents an overall balance of the region's energy sector.
James E. Hansen
This chapter discusses the importance of a carbon fee and dividend in minimizing the impacts of climate change on humanity and nature. Before outlining the policies needed to produce a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel emissions, it enumerates the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol from the standpoint of climate science. One flaw is the “cap” mechanism, which purports to reduce carbon emissions at the rate required to stabilize climate but fails to provide universal price signals that would reward efforts to reduce emissions. Another flaw concerns “offsets” that allow nations to limit reduction of fossil fuel emissions. This chapter argues that the Kyoto Protocol’s cap-and-trade-with-offsets approach must be abandoned and replaced with an approach that phases out fossil fuels in an economically efficient manner, such as utilizing carbon-free energy sources like renewable energy and nuclear power. Specifically, it proposes a flat (across-the-board) rising fee (tax) on carbon emissions. It also explains how such an approach may be implemented both nationally and internationally.
Mario F. Teisl
This article outlines the major environmental issues related to food consumption, which encompass not only the impacts caused by the production of food, but also those generated by food transport, processing, packaging, consumption, and disposal. Much of the literature cited here uses product- or process-based lifecycle analysis (LCA), also known as lifecycle assessment or eco balance analysis. It discusses a recent issue that is related to the environmental impacts of food consumption and is the concept of food miles; i.e., the environmental costs related to transportation of food from the farm or production facility to the retail store. Most of the comparisons are meant to be qualitatively illustrative. The article examines the source materials directly for some of the issues related to LCA. It discusses a critical role that packaging plays in food safety, storage, and transport.
Carlos J. De Miguel and Osvaldo Sunkel
This chapter examines the progress in the development of peripheral economies Latin America and the Caribbean in resolving the problems of the biosphere, and whether new forms of development must be devised, first analysing the relationship between styles of development and the environment. Second, it considers the state of the environment and natural resources arising from this relationship, and third, examines whether existing policies and current international challenges might provide the region with a new opportunity for more sustainable development.
Agri-environment policy was introduced in the European Union (EU) in the mid-1980s under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in response to agricultural surpluses and declining environmental standards. They are implemented in all 27 Member States, incurring some €24 billion expenditure over the period 2007–13. Schemes offer voluntary environmental contracts to farmers who accept management conditions in return for annual payments. Policy aims generally to promote land conservation by means of detailed changes in agricultural land management. Effective implementation faces a number of challenges: promoting appropriate management changes, addressing problems of asymmetric information, and optimizing transactions costs. Debate continues as to the extent of environmental benefits achieved, and there has been relatively little comprehensive evaluation. Future policy will need to enhance the efficiency of schemes through more targeted payments, greater competition, coordination over larger areas of land, and more security for the environmental gains achieved.
Sandra A. Hoffmann
The aim of this article is to orient economists new to the issue of food safety. It provides an overview of the scope of current food safety problems and the food safety policy reforms being adopted to address them around the world. Current efforts to modernize food safety policy are being shaped by several larger trends: globalization, use of risk analysis and cost-benefit analysis in public administration, and total quality management regimes in industry. Then, this article briefly examines two major roles that public economics can play in food safety policy: better informing policymakers about the social benefits and costs of their decisions and strengthening risk assessment. It reviews a rather coherent set of policy reforms that are being adopted worldwide to modernize food safety policy and shows that it will be a challenge for economists to make certain that their insights are heard and their relevance understood.
Joshua M. Duke and JunJie Wu
This chapter presents five prominent trends in land economics: advanced theory for spatially explicit structural modeling; advanced methods to understand and uncover agents’ land use behavior; integrated economic and ecological modeling; advances in using incomplete or inconsistent data; and overcoming information challenges in policy design. Many of these directions involve an improved ability to describe land use outcomes and exemplify a key advantage of rigorous economic analysis. Another focus is on more sophisticated models that explain how people sort on the landscape. Integrated modeling of human and ecological processes involves both cross-fertilization across land-related economics fields and integration with models outside economics. The increasing recognition that land use patterns, economic growth, and the spatial distribution of economic activities and environmental impacts are highly interdependent has led to a convergence of interest among land economists working in several fields.
Joshua M. Duke and JunJie Wu
What do economists know about land-and how do they know? This chapter introduces the Oxford Handbook of Land Economics, arguing that land is a theme that integrates several fields of economics, including natural resource economics, environmental economics, regional science, and urban economics. This integrated approach is needed for at least three reasons. First, partial equilibrium analysis is not always adequate to examine the questions society needs answered. Second, land economic problem settings are often too fluid to warrant the simplification economists seek to derive tight and tractable results, ready lab experiments, and empirically testable theoretically derived results. Third, integrated work may help prevent unexpected suboptimal recommendations. Integration not only occurs within economics but also can occur between economic and noneconomic models. Greater recognition and integration stimulates cross-fertilization among the fields of land economics research. By providing a comprehensive survey of land-related work in several economics fields, this Handbook provides the basic tools needed for economists to redefine the scope and focus of their work to better incorporate the contemporary thinking from other fields and to push out the frontiers of land economics.
Jeffrey Ferris and Lori Lynch
Land conservation provides many environmental benefits, as well as concrete economic benefits. Because of their public good attributes, conservation often requires the intervention of government or private organizations is needed. This chapter explores four categories of US land conservation: participatory (publicly protected land, conservation easements), regulation (development restriction, spatially based limits), incentive-based (working land programs, preferential taxation, tax deductions), and hybrid forms (land trusts efforts). The recent literature is reviewed and results outlined for these conservation programs.
Bruce A. McCarl, Witsanu Attavanich, Mark Musumba, Jianhong E. Mu, and Ruth Aisabokhae
Land use is heavily involved with climate change concerns, and this chapter discusses and reviews the interrelationships among the vulnerability, adaptation, and mitigation aspects of land use and climate change. It reviews a number of key studies on climate change issues regarding land productivity, land use, and land management (LPLULM), identifying key findings, pointing out research needs, and raising economic/policy questions to ponder. Overall, this chapter goes beyond previous reviews and simultaneously treats the troika of vulnerability, mitigation, and adaptation aspects of the issue, which will provide readers with a more comprehensive, multifaceted grasp of the spectrum of current issues regarding LPLULM and climate change.