IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Greenstone
  • B. Kelsey Jack

Environmental quality in many developing countries is poor and generates substantial health and productivity costs. However, existing measures of willingness to pay for environmental quality improvements indicate low valuations by affected households. This paper argues that this seeming paradox is the central puzzle at the intersection of environmental and development economics: Given poor environmental quality and high health burdens in developing countries, why is WTP so low? We develop a conceptual framework for understanding this puzzle and propose four potential explanations: (1) due to low income levels, individuals value increases in income more than marginal improvements in environmental quality, (2) the marginal costs of environmental quality improvements are high, (3) political economy factors undermine efficient policy-making, and (4) market failures such as weak property rights and missing capital markets drive a wedge between true and revealed willingness to pay for environmental quality. We review the available literature on each explanation and discuss how the framework also applies to climate change, which is perhaps the most important issue at the intersection of environment and development economics. The paper concludes with a list of promising and unanswered research questions for the emerging sub-field of "envirodevonomics."

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19426.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19426.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Publication status: published as Greenstone, Michael, and B. Kelsey Jack. 2015. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for an Emerging Field." Journal of Economic Literature, 53(1): 5-42.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19426
Note: DEV EEE HE PE
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Hanna, Rema & Oliva, Paulina, 2015. "The effect of pollution on labor supply: Evidence from a natural experiment in Mexico City," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 68-79.
  2. Francisco Gallego & Juan-Pablo Montero & Christian Salas, 2011. "The Effect of Transport Policies on Car Use: Theory and Evidence from Latin American Cities," Documentos de Trabajo 407, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  3. Leah Platt Boustan & Matthew E. Kahn & Paul W. Rhode, 2012. "Moving to Higher Ground: Migration Response to Natural Disasters in the Early Twentieth Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 238-244, May.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Leonardo Bursztyn & David Hemous, 2012. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 131-166, February.
  5. Eva Arceo & Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2016. "Does the Effect of Pollution on Infant Mortality Differ Between Developing and Developed Countries? Evidence from Mexico City," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(591), pages 257-280, 03.
  6. Alan Barreca & Karen Clay & Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2013. "Adapting to Climate Change: The Remarkable Decline in the U.S. Temperature-Mortality Relationship over the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 18692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Allen Blackman, 2010. "Alternative Pollution Control Policies in Developing Countries," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 234-253, Summer.
  8. Catherine Wolfram & Orie Shelef & Paul Gertler, 2012. "How Will Energy Demand Develop in the Developing World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 119-138, Winter.
  9. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2011. "Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the US," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 152-185, October.
  10. S.K. Bhutani, 2009. "China and India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 65(4), pages 383-391, October.
  11. Bennear, Lori & Tarozzi, Alessandro & Pfaff, Alexander & Balasubramanya, Soumya & Matin Ahmed, Kazi & van Geen, Alexander, 2013. "Impact of a randomized controlled trial in arsenic risk communication on household water-source choices in Bangladesh," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 225-240.
  12. Löfgren, Åsa & Martinsson, Peter & Hennlock, Magnus & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Are experienced people affected by a pre-set default option—Results from a field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 66-72.
  13. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
  14. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
  15. Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor," Working Papers id:2484, eSocialSciences.
  16. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
  17. Robin Burgess & Matthew Hansen & Benjamin A. Olken & Peter Potapov & Stefanie Sieber, 2012. "The Political Economy of Deforestation in the Tropics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1707-1754.
  18. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
  19. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2012. "Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India," Working Papers id:5119, eSocialSciences.
  20. Cornes,Richard & Sandler,Todd, 1996. "The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods, and Club Goods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521477185, October.
  21. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
  22. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2014. "Temperature and the Allocation of Time: Implications for Climate Change," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-26.
  23. Seema Jayachandran, 2009. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  24. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  25. Molly Lipscomb & A. Mushfiq Mobarak & Tania Barham, 2013. "Development Effects of Electrification: Evidence from the Topographic Placement of Hydropower Plants in Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 200-231, April.
  26. Jennifer Alix-Garcia & Craig McIntosh & Katharine R. E. Sims & Jarrod R. Welch, 2013. "The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 417-435, May.
  27. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2011. "A Bright Idea for Measuring Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 194-199, May.
  28. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
  29. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
  30. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
  31. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 395-424, 09.
  32. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
  33. Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
  34. Soma Bhattacharya & Anna Alberini & Maureen Cropper, 2007. "The value of mortality risk reductions in Delhi, India," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 21-47, February.
  35. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
  36. B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Private Information and the Allocation of Land Use Subsidies in Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 113-135, July.
  37. Jason F. Shogren & Laura O. Taylor, 2008. "On Behavioral-Environmental Economics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 26-44, Winter.
  38. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
  39. Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & William Parienté & Vincent Pons, 2012. "Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 68-99, November.
  40. Andrew Foster & Emilio Gutierrez & Naresh Kumar, 2009. "Voluntary Compliance, Pollution Levels, and Infant Mortality in Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 191-197, May.
  41. Chen Yuyu & Jin Ginger Zhe & Kumar Naresh & Shi Guang, 2012. "Gaming in Air Pollution Data? Lessons from China," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-43, December.
  42. Gregory Fischer & James Berry & Raymond Guiteras, 2012. "Eliciting and utilizing willingness to pay: evidence from field trials in Northern Ghana," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  43. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, October.
  44. Conning, Jonathan & Udry, Christopher, 2007. "Rural Financial Markets in Developing Countries," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  45. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-1417, November.
  46. Carolyn Fischer & Garth Heutel, 2013. "Environmental Macroeconomics: Environmental Policy, Business Cycles, and Directed Technical Change," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 197-210, June.
  47. John Hassler & Per Krusell, 2012. "Economics And Climate Change: Integrated Assessment In A Multi-Region World," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 974-1000, October.
  48. Douglas Almond & Yuyu Chen & Michael Greenstone & Hongbin Li, 2009. "Winter Heating or Clean Air? Unintended Impacts of China's Huai River Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 184-190, May.
  49. Feler, Leo & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2011. "Exclusionary policies in urban development: Under-servicing migrant households in Brazilian cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 253-272, May.
  50. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Jonathan Guryan, 2009. "Climate Change and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 211-217, May.
  51. William T. Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Molloy Wilson, 2002. "Reexamining The Empirical Evidence For An Environmental Kuznets Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 541-551, August.
  52. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir, 2004. "A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 419-423, May.
  53. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
  54. Shaun McRae, 2015. "Infrastructure Quality and the Subsidy Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 35-66, January.
  55. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
  56. Dasgupta, Susmita & Lucas, Robert E. B. & Wheeler, David, 1998. "Small manufacturing plants, pollution, and poverty : new evidence from Brazil and Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2029, The World Bank.
  57. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
  58. Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Sven Wunder & Paul J. Ferraro, 2010. "Show Me the Money: Do Payments Supply Environmental Services in Developing Countries?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 254-274, Summer.
  59. Meredith L. Fowlie, 2009. "Incomplete Environmental Regulation, Imperfect Competition, and Emissions Leakage," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 72-112, August.
  60. Solomon M. Hsiang & Daiju Narita, 2012. "Adaptation To Cyclone Risk: Evidence From The Global Cross-Section," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 1-28.
  61. Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "The Costs of Environmental Regulation in a Concentrated Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1019-1061, 05.
  62. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1989. "Markets, Market Failures, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 197-203, May.
  63. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Health Behavior in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 425-449, 09.
  64. Rodrigo A. Arriagada, & Paul J. Ferraro & Erin O. Sills & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Silvia Cordero-Sancho, 2012. "Do Payments for Environmental Services Affect Forest Cover? A Farm-Level Evaluation from Costa Rica," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 382-399.
  65. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  66. Gharad Bryan & Dean Karlan & Scott Nelson, 2010. "Commitment Devices," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 671-698, 09.
  67. Jeffrey R. Vincent, 2010. "Microeconomic Analysis of Innovative Environmental Programs in Developing Countries," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 221-233, Summer.
  68. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
  69. V. Kerry Smith, 2012. "Reflections--In Search of Crosswalks between Macroeconomics and Environmental Economics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(2), pages 298-317, July.
  70. Haakon Vennemo & Kristin Aunan & Henrik Lindhjem & Hans Martin Seip, 2009. "Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 209-230, Summer.
  71. Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
  72. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719.
  73. Meredith Fowlie, 2010. "Emissions Trading, Electricity Restructuring, and Investment in Pollution Abatement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 837-869, June.
  74. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  75. Jalan, Jyotsna & Somanathan, E., 2008. "The importance of being informed: Experimental evidence on demand for environmental quality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 14-28, August.
  76. Hemous, David, 2013. "Environmental Policy and Directed Technical Change in a Global Economy: The Dynamic Impact of Unilateral Environmental Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 9733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  77. Sheetal Sekhri, 2011. "Public Provision and Protection of Natural Resources: Groundwater Irrigation in Rural India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 29-55, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19426. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.