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Assessing Investment in Future Landsat Instruments: The Example of Forest Carbon Offsets

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  • Macauley, Molly K.

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Shih, Jhih-Shyang

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

We extend the theory of quality-adjusted expenditure indices to estimate benefits from public investment. In particular, we model the selection of new instruments (in the form of remote-sensing devices) to enhance the longest-operating U.S. satellite-based land-observing program, Landsat. We then apply the model to the use of Landsat in measuring global forest carbon sequestration. Improving measurement of the role of forests in storing carbon has become a prominent concern in climate policy. By characterizing the value of Landsat data in forest measurement, the expenditure function allows us to help inform public investment decisions in the satellite system. The expenditure function also makes explicit the sensitivity of the selection of instruments for the satellites to the value of Landsat information, thus linking instrument choice explicitly to policy design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-10-14.

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Date of creation: 22 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-14

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Keywords: value of information; satellite data; forests; carbon; sequestration; Landsat;

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  1. Anger, Niels & Dixon, Alistair & Livengood, Erich, 2009. "Interactions of Reduced Deforestation and the Carbon Market: The Role of Market Regulations and Future Commitments," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
  3. Kim, Man-Keun & McCarl, Bruce A. & Murray, Brian C., 2008. "Permanence discounting for land-based carbon sequestration," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 763-769, February.
  4. Pfaff, Alexander S. P. & Kerr, Suzi & Hughes, R. Flint & Liu, Shuguang & Sanchez-Azofeifa, G. Arturo & Schimel, David & Tosi, Joseph & Watson, Vicente, 2000. "The Kyoto protocol and payments for tropical forest:: An interdisciplinary method for estimating carbon-offset supply and increasing the feasibility of a carbon market under the CDM," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 203-221, November.
  5. Macauley, Molly K., 2009. "Earth Observations in Social Science Research for Management of Natural Resources and the Environment: Identifying the Contribution of the U.S. Land Remote Sensing (Landsat) Program," Discussion Papers dp-09-01, Resources For the Future.
  6. Brian C. Murray & Bruce A. McCarl & Heng-Chi Lee, 2004. "Estimating Leakage from Forest Carbon Sequestration Programs," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20043, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2003.
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Cited by:
  1. Molly Macauley & Roger Sedjo, 2011. "Forests in climate policy: technical, institutional and economic issues in measurement and monitoring," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 499-513, June.

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