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Acting Globally while Thinking Locally: Is the Global Environment Protected by Transport Emission Control Programs?

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Locally motivated air quality programs in Santiago and Mexico City have only minor collateral benefits for the global climate. If agencies with global and local agendas did business together, then individuals and firms and even cities would act globally when thinking locally, and one would see greater synergy. Eskeland and Xie find that locally motivated air quality programs for urban transport have limited collateral benefits in terms of protecting the global climate. This could puzzle some, since these two public goods one global, one local seem to be jointly produced. However, air quality in Mexico City, Santiago, and elsewhere is predominantly pursued by technical improvements (making cars and fuels cleaner), and not by reducing demand for polluting goods and services (though in Europe high fuel taxes help reduce demand). Control programs developed under joint stimulus to protect the global and local environment have not yet been seen, and they may surprise us when they come. However, they will likely rely more on reducing demand, using instruments such as corrective (Pigovian) taxes on fuels. The authors show how, if locally and globally charged agencies can do business together, consumers, producers, and cities will act globally when thinking locally. Only then will we know the extent to which local and global benefits are produced jointly.

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  • Gunnar S. Eskeland & Jian Xie, 1998. "Acting Globally while Thinking Locally: Is the Global Environment Protected by Transport Emission Control Programs?," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 1, pages 385-411, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:1:y:1998:n:2:p:385-411
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    1. Eskeland, Gunnar S, 1994. "A Presumptive Pigovian Tax: Complementing Regulation to Mimic an Emissions Fee," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 373-394, September.
    2. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Feyzioglu, Tarhan N., 1997. "Is demand for polluting goods manageable? An econometric study of car ownership and use in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 423-445, August.
    3. Gunnar S. Eskeland, 1997. "Air Pollution Requires Multipollutant Analysis: The Case of Santiago, Chile," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1636-1641.
    4. Eskeland, Gunnar S & Feyzioglu, Tarhan, 1997. "Rationing Can Backfire: The "Day without a Car" in Mexico City," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 383-408, September.
    5. Pearce, David W, 1991. "The Role of Carbon Taxes in Adjusting to Global Warming," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 938-948, July.
    6. Cropper, Maureen L. & Simon, Nathalie B. & Alberini, Anna & Sharma, P. K., 1997. "The health effects of air pollution in Delhi, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1860, The World Bank.
    7. William R. Cline, 1992. "Economics of Global Warming, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 39.
    8. Gunnar S. Eskeland & Emmanuel Jimenez & Lili Liu, 1998. "Prices that Clear the Air: Energy Use and Pollution in Chile and Indonesia," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 85-106.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Mideksa, Torben K., 2008. "Transportation fuel use, technology and standards: The role of credibility and expectations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4695, The World Bank.
    2. Anil Markandya & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2012. "Impure public technologies and environmental policy," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(2), pages 128-143, May.

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