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Garth Heutel
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The idea of an individual's or a household's carbon footprint is how much that person or household contributes to climate change. All anthropogenic climate change is caused by humans (by definition), so let's take all the humans who have ever lived and divide up the responsibility for climate change amongst... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2022 at Environmental Economics
There is a great new policy forum article in Science defending the use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) in climate policy analysis, written by four great environmental economists (Joe Aldy, Matt Kotchen, Robert Stavins, and James Stock). While I enjoyed reading the article, I am not sure that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2021 at 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. In case you are unfamiliar with it, the journal Economics and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at 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... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2020 at 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,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at 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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at Environmental Economics
The schedule of papers for the AERE 2019 Summer Conference is now online (just in time!) Lots of good papers! Not sure which sessions I will attend, but I will do my best to attend the session that I am presenting in. Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at Environmental Economics
Darn, I am reading this just one day too late to put it into my micro final exam.
1 reply
I just finished reading a great book that substantially changed how I think about economics - "Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality" by James Kwak. In a nutshell, the book describes "economism" - which has also been called "Econ 101ism". It is the over-reliance on basic microeconomic principles... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2019 at Environmental Economics
Last week's midterm elections were a mixed bag for environmental policy. Lots of initiatives went down in defeat, though some passed, and some pro-environmental candidates won. Most notably for us environmental economists, the state of Washington failed to pass a carbon tax initiative, which would have made them the only... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at Environmental Economics
I recently got around to reading the 2010 book "Identity Economics: How our Identities Shape our Work, Wages, and Well-Being," by George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton. It is a lay summary of some of the work that Akerlof and Kranton have been doing to incorporate identity and social norms into... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2018 at Environmental Economics
Good point, and I agree with you. But to be fair, there are more sophisticated critiques of CBA of environmental goods and of environmental nonmarket valuation. I even blogged about it!
1 reply
I just finished reading Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott. I've been thinking quite a bit about its implications for environmental policy and in particular the standard neoclassical policy prescriptions for the environment (i.e. Pigouvian taxes and/or cap-and-trade). The book has somewhat of a libertarian/conservative/small-government angle to it,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at Environmental Economics
Great piece! I will put this as a reading in my environmental economics course syllabus.
1 reply
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... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at Environmental Economics
If you want to build a new home in California, you will have to build one with rooftop solar, according to a new mandate from the California Energy Commission. The solar rules will apply to new single-family homes and new multi-family housing of three stories or fewer. Under the plan,... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Environmental Economics
I think the argument is that when there is no policy (i.e. when you don't "use" the SCC) it is equivalent to a SCC of zero.
1 reply
The European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, the world's largest greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, will be taking a new step to stabilize permit prices. Starting in January 2019, the Market Stability Reserve will go into effect, which aims to stabilize price by reducing the long-standing permit surpluses that have plagued the... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2018 at Environmental Economics
Think of all of the positive externalities though! Thanks App State!
1 reply
Hi! 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... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at Environmental Economics
Subsidies wouldn't necessarily create a deadweight loss, if they are offsetting a pre-existing market failure (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel generated electricity).
1 reply
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Jan 26, 2018