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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications

2016-05-11

Truth behind Chinese Superstition: Non-linear Effects of Vehicle Traffic on Urban Air Quality in Beijing

Employing hourly data records from 2013 and 2014 in Beijing, we investigate the causal effects of vehicle traffic on air pollution. An arguably exogenous variation in vehicle use that results from the staggered and rotating driving restriction program there, combined with a widespread Chinese superstition about the unlucky number four, allows us to better track causal effects of traffic-induced air pollutants in a generalized 2SLS framework.

2016-05-11

Temperature and Industrial Output: Micro-level Evidence from China

We pair a county-level panel of annual industrial output with a fine-scale daily weather dataset to  estimate the responses of industrial output to temperature changes in China. We have three primary findings. First, industrial output is nonlinear in temperature changes. With seasonal average temperatures as temperature variables, industrial output increases by 0.7–1.0% for each 1°C increase in average spring temperature, and falls by 1.3–2.3% for each 1°C increase in average summer temperature.

2016-05-11

International Remittances and Private Inter-household Transfers Exploring the Links

We investigate the effect of remittances from migrated family members on informal inter-household transfers, an issue that has received limited attention in the literature. Using rich panel data from urban Ethiopia, we show that receiving international remittances increases the value of private domestic inter-household transfers, whereas receiving domestic remittances does not have any e ect.

2016-04-26

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.

2016-04-20

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.

2016-04-20

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.

2016-04-20

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.

2016-04-20

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

2016-04-20

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.

2016-04-12

The Impact of Safety Nets on Technology Adoption A Difference-in-Differences 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 difference-in-difference estimator and inverse propensity score weighting, we nd that participation in Ethiopia's food-for-work (FFW) program increased fertilizer adoption. Results also