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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


Even when communities do a good job of managing forests, additional incentives are needed to encourage them to store more carbon: A Study in Ethiopia

The United Nations Programme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) is a plan to mitigate climate change by making payments to developing countries that conserve forests. However, it is not yet clear whether it makes sense to bring in the approximately 25% of developing country forests that are managed by communities. We attempt to shed light on this question by examining whether forest collective action – cooperation to improve forests – is already sequestering carbon.


Why (Field) Experiments on Unethical Behavior Are Important: Comparing Stated and Revealed Behavior

Understanding unethical behavior is essential to many phenomena in the real world. The vast majority of existing studies have relied on stated behavior in surveys and some on incentivized experiments in the laboratory. In this paper, we carry out a field experiment in a unique setting. A survey more than one year before the field experiment allows us to compare stated unethical behavior with revealed behavior in the same situation. Our results indicate a strong discrepancy between stated and revealed behavior.


How Does a Driving Restriction Affect Transportation Patterns? The Medium-Run Evidence from Beijing

This paper uses data from 2009 to 2014 to study the short- to medium-run effect of a driving restriction on transportation patterns in Beijing. The driving restriction specifies two numbers for each weekday so that cars with license plates ending in either of the numbers are banned from driving on that date. Because very few Chinese want to have their car licenses ending in 4, many more cars are driving on days when 4 is banned.


Can an Emission Trading Scheme Promote the Withdrawal of Outdated Capacity in Energy-Intensive Sectors? A Case Study of China’s Iron and Steel Industry

Outdated capacity and substantial potential for energy conservation are the two main features of energy-intensive sectors in developing countries. Such countries also seek to implement market-based options to further control domestic carbon emissions as well as to promote the withdrawal of outdated capacity and upgrade production levels. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of an emission trading scheme (ETS) for China’s iron and steel industry. The diverse array of normal and outdated capacities are modeled in a two-country, three-good partial equilibrium model.


The Impact of Safety Nets on Technology Adoption: A Dierence-in-Diferences Analysis

This paper contributes to a growing body of empirical literature relating credit constraints and incomplete insurance to investment decisions. We use panel data from rural Ethiopia to investigate whether participation in a safety net program enhances fertilizer adoption. Using a di erence-in-di erence estimator and inverse propensity score weighting, we nd that partic- ipation in Ethiopia's food-for-work (FFW) program increased fertilizer adoption. Results also


Strategic Delegation and International Permit Markets: Why Linking May Fail

We analyze a typical principal-agent relationship in the context of international climate policy, in which the principals of two countries first decide whether to merge their domestic emission permit markets to form an international market. In the second stage, they delegate the decision on domestic permit supply to an agent. We find that principals have an incentive to select agents who care less for environmental damages than they do themselves. Moreover, international permit markets amplify this incentive, rendering linking less attractive.


The regulatory choice of noncompliance in the lab: effect on quantities, prices, and implications for the design of a cost-effective policy

Recent theoretical developments show the conditions under which it is cost effective for the regulator to induce perfect compliance in cap and trade programs. These conditions are based on the ability that a regulator with perfect information has to induce the firms to emit any desired level with different combinations of the number of permits supplied to the market and the monitoring probability, assuming that firms are expected profits maximizers. In this paper we test this hypothesis with a series of laboratory experiments.


The Impact of CO2 Emissions on Agricultural Productivity and Household Welfare in Ethiopia: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis

Climate change has become one of the most important development challenges worldwide. It affects various sectors, with agriculture the most vulnerable. In Ethiopia, climate change impacts are exacerbated due to the economy’s heavy dependence on agriculture. The Ethiopian government has started to implement its Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, which is planned to foster development and sustainability while limiting GHG emissions by 2030. However, to the best of our knowledge, research on estimating the economic impacts of CO2 emissions are limited.


Small-holder Farming, Food Security and Climate Change in South Africa: Male-Female and Urban-Rural Differences

With ongoing climate change, food insecurity is likely to become more widespread in most small-holder and subsistence farm households in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the existence and extent of gendered food (in)security remains unclear. This study extends existing knowledge by assessing gender inequality in food (in)security amongst small-holder farm households in urban and rural areas of South Africa. To do so, we use the gender of the head of household in a treatment effects framework.


Spillover Effects from a Social Information Campaign

We investigate whether a social information campaign aimed at reducing water use causes a spillover effect on the use of electricity. On average, water use decreased by 6 percent for a treatment group for whom we conducted a social information campaign on their use of water, compared with that of a control group. We identify a spillover effect on electricity use among households that had efficient use of water before the campaign. The effect is sizeable; this group has almost 9 percent lower use of electricity after the campaign compared with the control group.