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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


Assessing the Performance of Alternative Water and Sanitation Tariffs: The Case of Nairobi, Kenya

Policy makers and utility managers can use a variety of tariff structures to calculate customers’ bills for water and sanitation services, ranging from a simple flat monthly fee to complicated multipart tariffs with seasonal pricing based on metered water use. This paper examines the performance of alternative tariff structures for water and wastewater services in Nairobi, Kenya.


The Impact of Micro Hydroelectricity on Household Welfare Indicators

The use of small-scale off-grid renewable energy for rural electrification is now seen as one sustainable energy solution. The expectations from such small-scale investment include meeting basic household energy needs and thereby improving some aspects of household welfare. However, these stated benefits remain largely hypothetical because there are data and methodological challenges in existing literature attempting to isolate such impacts. This paper uses field data from micro hydro schemes in Kenya and a propensity score matching technique to demonstrate such an impact.


The approximation bias of Gram-Charlier Expansion in dynamic higher moments modelling

The Gram-Charlier Expansion (GCE) of the Gaussian density under GARCH framework has been widely used to model the conditional dynamic higher moments. Compared with other generalized distributions, GARCH-GCE models describe the dynamic equations of conditional skewness and kurtosis in a more direct way. While GCE function is not always positive, it is often squared and normalized in empirical studies. However, little attention has been paid to the fact that the higher moments of squared-GCE function are different from the original GCE function.


Pricing the CBOE VIX Futures with the Heston–Nandi GARCH Model

We propose a closed-form pricing formula for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (CBOE VIX) futures based on the classic discrete-time Heston–Nandi GARCH model. The parameters are estimated using several sets of data, including the S&P 500 returns, the CBOE VIX, VIX futures prices and combinations of these data sources. Based on the resulting empirical pricing performances, we recommend the use of both VIX and VIX futures prices for a joint estimation of model parameters.


Collective forest tenure reform and household energy consumption: A case study in Yunnan Province, China

The recent Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China has started the process of devolving forest management rights from village collectives to households since 2003. In this paper, we study the impact of the reform on rural energy consumption. Devolving forest tenure improves farmers' access to forest products on their newly acquired forestland, and is therefore expected to increase farmers' fuelwood consumption. The reform also allows farmers to adopt some revenue-enhancing forest technologies which may lead to energy switching in farmer households.


The effect of subway expansions on vehicle congestion: Evidence from Beijing

Does public transportation reduce vehicle congestion? Using a regression-discontinuity framework, we examine the effect of six subway openings on short-run congestion in Beijing between 2009 and 2015. We find that vehicle congestion drops sharply immediately after new subway openings. In our central specification, each of the subway openings decreased delay times by an average of 15% in the short run over the city of Beijing.


    Evaluating Rural Electrification: Illustrating Research Gaps with the Case of Bhutan

    Electrification, especially rural electrification (RE), is a core component of the Sustainable Development Goals and a major focal point of the global development community. Despite this focus, more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity, and electrification growth rates are not keeping pace with population growth. In this paper, we posit that lack of progress is partly driven by a misalignment between academic research and energy planners’ and policy makers’ needs.


    Chinese Local Residents’ Attitudes toward Shale Gas Exploitation: The Role of Energy Poverty, Environmental Awareness, and Benefit and Risk Perceptions

    This study investigates Chinese local residents’ attitudes toward shale gas exploitation through an interview of 730 local residents in two counties of Sichuan Province (Weiyuan County and Gong County) and explores the determinants of their support or opposition. It is the first study in China to explore local residents’ attitudes, and we comprehensively identify underlying factors accounting for such attitudes, including energy poverty, environmental awareness, and risk and benefit perceptions.


      Construyendo acuerdos ambientales desde las asimetrías:¿Qué condiciones favorecen la formación de acuerdos?

      El manejo de recursos naturales y los servicios ecosistémicos frecuentemente involucran agentes que son afectados asimétricamente por las decisiones que se toman. Por ejemplo, los usuarios de un sistema de riego que están en la parte alta pueden tener acceso a más agua que los usuarios que están en la parte baja, porque la ubicación les da una ventaja. Lo mismo puede pasar con recursos pesqueros que cruzan fronteras entre países, de manera que un país puede tener una ventaja en la pesca.