The Trouble With Macroeconomics

For more than three decades, macroeconomics has gone backwards. The treatment of identification now is no more credible than in the early 1970s but escapes challenge because it is so much more opaque. Macroeconomic theorists dismiss mere facts by feigning an obtuse ignorance about such simple assertions as “tight monetary policy can cause a recession.” Their models attribute fluctuations in aggregate variables to imaginary causal forces that are not influenced by the action that any person takes. A parallel with string theory from physics hints at a general failure mode of science that is triggered when respect for highly regarded leaders evolves into a deference to authority
that displaces objective fact from its position as the ultimate determinant of scientific truth.

Effective Carbon Rates

To tackle climate change, CO2 emissions need to be cut. Pricing carbon is one of the most effective and lowest-cost ways of inducing such cuts. This report presents the first full analysis of the use of carbon pricing on energy in 41 OECD and G20 economies, covering 80% of global energy use and of CO2 emissions. The analysis takes a comprehensive view of carbon prices, including specific taxes on energy use, carbon taxes and tradable emission permit prices.


Mainstreaming of Adaptation (Casado-Asensio et al.)

This WP explores progress in the integration or mainstreaming of adaptation and related objetives into national development planning. It first provides an overview of the international mechanisms, including finance, to support the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into development planning and policies in developing countries.

Water Scarcity and Birth Outcomes in the Brazilian Semiarid

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Discussion Paper no. 6773, Bonn, July, 2012. This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall fluctuations during the gestational period on health at birth, in the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil. It highlights the role of water scarcity as a determinant of early life health. Negative rainfall shocks are robustly correlated with higher infant mortality, lower birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Mortality effects are concentrated on intestinal infections and malnutrition, and are greatly minimized when the local public health infrastructure is sufficiently developed (municipality coverage of piped water and sanitation). Effects are stronger during the fetal period (2nd trimester of gestation), for children born during the dry season, and for mortality in the first 6 months of life. The results seem to be driven by water scarcity per se, and not by reduced agricultural production. Results suggest that expansions in public health infrastructure would bea cost-effective way of reducing the response of infant mortality to rainfall shocks in the Brazilian semiarid.

Topics on the ecological economics of coastal zones

PAULSEN, SANDRA SILVA. Topics on the ecological economics of coastal zones. Doctoral Thesis. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, 2007. This thesis attempts to integrate ecology and economics into a basis for public decision making concerning environmental resources and problems in coastal zones on the west of Sweden. The applications relate to economic valuation of environmental changes, incentives to wetland construction as a means to mitigate eutrophication in the presence of uncertainty and different information structures, and the use of ecological data on habitat structure and fish populations to show the economic importance of coastal habitats in supporting fisheries.

Environmental innovations: evidence from Brazilian manufacturing firms

Tese de Doutoramento. Universidade de São Paulo, 2013. The increasing concern with environmental damage and climate change has highlighted the importance of environmental innovations as an alternative to current technological standards. This thesis aims to contribute to the analysis of the determinants of environmental innovation and to the identification of the effects of the adoption of environmental innovations on labor demand and performance of Brazilian manufacturing firms. Based on panel data between 1998 and 2008, the results corroborate international evidence on the determinants of environmental innovation adoption. The environmental inducement hypothesis verified indicates that environmental regulation has an important role to influence the Brazilian firms in order to adopt both technical and organizational environmental innovations.

How much does Brazil need to invest to recover 12 million hectares of forests?

In December 2015, 195 countries gathered to create the Paris Agreement, around the commitment to contain global warming within 2° C, with efforts to ensure that it does not exceed 1.5° C by the end of this century. Therefore, the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture – a multisectoral movement consisting of more than 120 companies, business associations, civil society organizations and research centers – has commissioned multidisciplinary teams from the Choices Institute and the Center for Sustainability Studies of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (GVces) to construct scenarios of the Brazilian reality that encompass the three major commitments listed by Brazil in its NDC.

Economic and Social Impacts of a Carbon Tax in Brazil

This cover document presents a study, developed by the Instituto Escolhas, on the adoption of an alternative of
US$36/tCO2 e as a Carbon Tax levied on fossil fuels in Brazil, focusing on maintaining a neutral tax burden. This neutrality is obtained by means of simplification of one of the most complex taxes that exists in the country, widely known by its acronym of PIS-Cofins, which has been the object of simplification plans proposed by the Executive and Legislative branches of Government.

Valuing Air Quality Using Happiness Data: The Case of China

This paper estimates the monetary value of cutting PM2.5, a dominant source of air pollution in China. By matching hedonic happiness in a nationally representative survey with daily air quality data according to exact dates and locations of interviews in China, we are able to estimate the relationship between local concentration of particulate matter and individual happiness. By holding happiness constant, we calculate the tradeoff between the reduction in particulate matter and income, essentially a happiness-based measure of willingness-to-pay for mitigating air pollution. We find that people on average are willing to pay ¥539 ($88, or 3.8% of annual household per capita income) for a 1 μg/m3 reduction in PM2.5 per year per person.

The Effect of Pollution on Worker Productivity: Evidence from Call-Center Workers in China

We investigate the effect of pollution on worker productivity in the service sector by focusing on two call centers in China. Using precise measures of each worker’s daily output linked to daily measures of pollution and meteorology, we find that higher levels of air pollution decrease worker productivity by reducing the number of calls that workers complete each day. These results manifest themselves at commonly found levels of pollution in major cities throughout the developing and developed world, suggesting that these types of effects are likely to apply broadly. When decomposing these effects, we find that the decreases in productivity are explained by increases in time spent on breaks rather than the duration of phone calls. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that the negative impacts of pollution on productivity extend beyond physically demanding tasks to indoor, white-collar work