Responses to EU Carbon Pricing: The Effect of Carbon Emissions Allowances on Renewable Energy Development in Advanced and Transitional EU Members
By John Dearing
Using electricity price, generation, installed capacity, and carbon price data from the European Union from January 2015 to December 2018, this study finds that the carbon pricing in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) incentivizes electricity sector carbon emission reductions through renewable energy deployment only for economically advanced EU members. Transitional economies show a weak to modest carbon emission increase despite a common carbon price. This study estimates an electricity supply curve, or merit order, for 24 EU ETS members using a Tobit regression model and analyzes changes in this curve using a linear bspline. These shifts provide insight into how carbon pricing affected energy generation, price, and CO2 emissions for two distinct categories of EU member states. The advanced category as a whole saw a strong electricity sector decrease in carbon emissions, both over time and from carbon pricing, while the transitional category as a whole saw a weak increase. This indicates that advanced EU members in Northern, Western, and Central Europe likely sold permits to transitional ones in Southern and Eastern Europe. While these findings may initially reflect the gains from trade of carbon emissions, permits inherent in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme’s design, the implications of how these two distinct groups have changed electricity generation present challenges to the ultimate long-term goal of EU-wide carbon neutrality by 2050, particularly in transitional economies’ electricity sectors.
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Advisors: Dr. Lincoln Pratson, Professor Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: Q4, Q43, Q48, Q5, Q52, Q56, Q58
By Aakash Jain
Previous research has shown that ambient temperature affects human metabolism and behavior. Inspired by these findings, this study examines the effect of lagged annual temperatures in the United States on average reported BMI. The results indicate that higher temperatures in the future will lead to increases in average BMI. A conservative estimate suggests that a 1 °C increase in temperature sustained for 10 years would result in a 0.15 unit increase in average BMI and an additional $15.5 billion in annual health care expenditure.
Advisor: Billy Pizer | JEL Codes: Q5, Q54, I1, I10
By Ryan B. Hoecker
This paper analyzes the municipal fringe of cities in Eastern North Carolina between 2006-2016, and how the values of individual properties on the outskirts can fluctuate after they are
incorporated within a city. A large portion of the research process consisted of manually recreating annexation ordinances from scanned photocopies on ArcGIS, creating the first geographic archive of annexations in North Carolina compatible with digital software. As environmental nuisances, such as landfills and hazardous waste sites, are often located on town borders, this study pays specific attention to how their presence affects the change in property values before and after annexation. Results show that incorporation brings with it higher property values, and that the impact of annexation is greater in the presence of nuisances that threaten water quality for private wells.
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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: H79, Q53, R31
By Artur Shikhaleev
This thesis attempts to analyze the impact of the diﬀerences in regulatory frameworks that govern state-owned and federally-owned lands on the outcomes of auctions for oil and natural gas leaseholds in the state of New Mexico. The analysis tries to isolate the eﬀect of ownership by controlling for auction structure, leasehold characteristics, and prices of underlying resources. Given past research, the hypothesis is that stricter regulations carry a heavier cost to buyers, so the expectation is that federally-owned leaseholds, which are more regulated, are traded at a discount to state-owned leaseholds. However, the result of this thesis is contradictory to the hypothesis. The conclusion is that stricter regulations do not lead to a discounted auction price for an oil and gas leasehold.
Advisor: James Roberts, Kent Kimbrough | JEL Codes: C12, C21, Q35, Q58 | Tagged:
Shale Gas Development and Housing Value in the United Kingdom: Impact of the 13th Onshore Licensing, 2008
By Esther Lho
While shale gas is a prospective energy source, it is known to bring environmental deficits to the drilling neighborhood. Because of such concerns, property values fluctuate upon the possibility of shale gas fracturing. This paper examines the change in housing prices before and after the release of the 13th onshore oil and gas licensing round, which took place in 2008 when shale gas was increasingly being considered as the alternative to ease the United Kingdom’s dependency on coal. Results suggest that the 2008 licensing has caused a 3% decrease in housing price growth rate for the licensed areas.
Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: Q42, Q5, Q51 | Tagged: Consumer Expectation, Fracturing, Hedonic Price, Housing Prices, Property valuation, Shale Gas, United Kingdom
By Gabrielle Inder
This paper examines how information transfer about contamination levels found at brownfield sites capitalizes into nearby property values. More specifically, a hedonic model is used to test the impact on housing transaction prices when a binary measure (i.e. exceeding a threshold or not) or a continuous measure (i.e. chemical levels) is used. In the analysis, I exploit the variation in the contaminant thresholds, caused by regulatory conditions defined by the state of Massachusetts, holding the contaminant level constant. As thresholds are tied to neighborhood attributes in areas surrounding brownfields, threshold exceedance is potentially correlated to unobserved factors that impact housing values. An instrumental variables approach is used to create variation in threshold
exceedance through the use of an instrument that measures the presence to underground aquifers. After instrumenting for threshold exceedance, my estimates indicate that a 10.8% decrease in housing values occurs when a contaminant threshold is exceeded, while the continuous measures of toxicity indicate a negative but insignificant effect. These findings suggest that policy makers should consider information conveyance when creating policies to inform homeowners of pollution presence, as improved information provision may increase public awareness about local environmental concerns.
Advisor: Christopher Timmins, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: C26, Q5, Q53 | Tagged: Brownfields, Hedonic Analysis, Housing Markets, Instrumental Variables, Pollution
The Role of Income in Environmental Justice: A National Analysis of Race, Housing Markets, and Air Pollution
By Christopher Brown
Historically, evidence has shown that minority populations in the United States suffer a disproportionate burden of pollution compared to whites. This study examines whether this burden could be the result of income disparities between whites and minorities, acting through the housing market. We look at 324 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) in the United States as defined by the Economic and Social Research Institute. Using demographic data from the 2000 Decennial Census and pollution data from the 1999 national Air Toxic Assessments, we compare the race-income correlation in each MSA for four races (white, black, Latino, and Asian) with the race-income.
JEL Codes: Q53, Q56 | Tagged:
By Marissa Meir
Environmental injustice is a theory that claims distributions of toxic, hazardous and dangerous waste facilities are disproportionately located in low-income communities of color. This paper empirically demonstrates an alternative cause of environmental injustice- that low-income minorities are less likely to receive sizeable enough loans to buy a house in a cleaner area. It highlights a significant time in history, from 1999 to 2007, when wealth constraints were eased and loan amounts increased for people with the same income. The results show that minorities increase their demand of environmental goods given an increase in loan amounts, suggesting that people of color care about environmental quality, but, due to wealth constraints, do not have the same opportunities
in the housing market.
Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: P46, P48, Q50, Q53, Q56, Q58, R20, R21, R31, R32 | Tagged:
By Emily Bailey
Unitization, a common but not omnipresent policy that is lauded in both the economics and environmental world for its efficiency, attempts to solve the “tragedy of the commons” common pool failure of oil production by creating a system in which all those with interests in one reserve produce jointly and split profits accordingly. This paper empirically demonstrates what other researchers have hypothesized – that unitization reduces the elasticity of supply with respect to price. It then extrapolates to potential impacts this policy could have on the environment at large by forecasting a future production path based on the model from the previous section. Finally, it demonstrates how unitization could slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: Q38, Q48, Q54 | Tagged:
By Danjie Fang
Empirical research on the impact of natural disasters on economic growth has provided contradictory results and few studies have focused on the United States. In this thesis, I bridge the gap by examining the merits of existing claims on the relationship between natural disasters and growth at the states and county level in the U.S. I find that climatological and geophysical disasters have a small and negative impact on growth rates at the state level, but that this impact disappears over time. At the county level, I find that tornados have a slight but negative impact on per capita GDP levels and growth rates over a five year period across three states that experience this natural phenomenon. Controlling for FEMA aid, I find that there may be upward omitted variable bias in regressions that do not include the amount of aid as a variable. I find evidence that FEMA aid has a small but positive impact on growth and per capita GDP levels at both the county and state level.
Advisor: Christopher Timmins, Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: O11, O40, Q58 | Tagged: