Skip to main content

Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications

2016-11-25

Spatial Distribution of Coal-Fired Power Plants in China

Coal has fueled China’s fast growth in the last decades, but it also severely pollutes the air and causes many health issues. The magnitude of the health damage caused by air pollution depends on the location of emission sources. In this paper, we look into the spatial distribution of coal-fired power plants, the major emission sources in China, and investigate the determining factors behind the distribution. We see an overall increase in installed coal-fired power capacity in recent years, with capacity leaps in some provinces.

2016-11-25

    Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Since the 1960s and 1970s, the international community has dedicated a considerable amount of its lending portfolios and technical assistance capacities to investments into infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water networks. In spite of these continous efforts, billions of people worldwide are still lacking acces to electricity, clean water, sanitation, and quality roads. At the same time, the lack of infrastructure access is often said to be a major barrier to sustainable human development.

    2016-11-25

      A First Step up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda

      More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries are lacking access to electricity. Based on the assumption that electricity is a prerequisite for human development, the United Nations has proclaimed the goal of providing electricity to all by 2030. In recent years, Pico-Photovoltaic kits have become a low-cost alternative to investment intensive grid electrification. Using a randomized controlled trial, we examine uptake and impacts of a simple Pico-Photovoltaic kit that barely exceeds the modern energy benchmark defined by the United Nations.

      2016-11-25

        Does Large-Scale Infrastructure Investment Alleviate Poverty? Impacts of Rwanda’s Electricity Access Roll-Out Program

        The objective of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All) is to provide electricity by 2030 to the 1.1 billion people in developing countries that hitherto lack access. The OECD/IEA quantifies the investment requirements of this to be at 640 billion USD. Little evidence exists on socio-economic impacts of electrification. The present paper is the first to causally investigate the effects of electrification in Africa on all beneficiary groups.

        2016-11-24

        Positional concern, gender, and household expenditures: A case study in Yunnan province

        Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to attempt to investigate farmer's positional concerns in rural China, and how the positional concerns correlate with household expenditures on visible goods. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conduct a survey-based experiment to measure farmers' positional concerns, and employ econometric models to examine the determinants of the degree of positional concern and how the positional concern affects household expenditures on visible goods.

        2016-11-24

        People at risk of influenza pandemics: The evolution of perception and behavior

        Influenza pandemics can severely impact human health and society. Understanding public perception and behavior toward influenza pandemics is important for minimizing the effects of such events. Public perception and behavior are expected to change over the course of an influenza pandemic, but this idea has received little attention in previous studies. Our study aimed to understand the dynamics of public perception and behavior over the course of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

        2016-11-24

        The effect on forestation of the collective forest tenure reform in China

        The Chinese government has allowed collective village forest land to pass into individualized ownership. The purpose was to alleviate rural poverty and stimulate investment in forests. Using data collected from 288 villages, in eight provinces, over three years, this paper measures the effect of the individualization on one aspect of forest investment, forestation. Because villages voted on the reform, we identify the causal effect of the reform by an instrumental variable estimator based on the countywide decision to offer the reform package.

        2016-11-24

        Automobile usage and urban rail transit expansion: Evidence from a natural experiment in Beijing, China

        Using individual travel diary data collected before and after a rail transit expansion in urban Beijing, the impact of urban rail accessibility improvement on the usage of rail transit, automobiles, buses, walking and bicycling, as well as the cross-area externality induced by congestion alleviation, is estimated. The results show that rail transit usage significantly increased for commuters residing in the affected areas and that the additional rail passengers were previously auto users, rather than bus passengers.

        2016-11-24

        Environmental regulation and firm location choice in China

        How may environmental regulation affect firm location choice? While this question has generated great research interest from high-standard, industrial economies, in this article we turn the spotlight to low-standard, developing countries and use China’s Census of Manufactures data during 2003–2008 to explore how firms with different ownership, during different policy regimes as well as from different industries may respond to environmental regulations in different ways.

        2016-11-24

        The spirit of capitalism and the equity premium

        This paper evaluates whether the spirit of capitalism can explain the equity premium puzzle. The spirit of capitalism implies that investors acquire wealth not just for consumption, but also to improve their social status. We set up a consumption-based capital asset pricing model incorporating this component. The simulated results from our calibrated model match the mean and the volatility of the equity premium observed in the data.