IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/991.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Environmental costs of natural resource commodities : magnitude and incidence

Author

Listed:
  • Slade, Margaret E.

Abstract

The carrying capacity of our natural environment is an important unpriced input to production. A consensus is growing that users should pay for the environmental damage that they cause. Although most people can accept this policy in principle, many are concerned with magnitude and incidence of its associated costs and the disruptions that would be created during a transition period. Of particular concern is the burden that might be placed on the economics of developing countries. When the industrial world was developing, it was able to benefit from cheap natural-resource commodities. It is fair to expect countries that are trying to imitate this pattern to pay more? Unfortunately there are not reliable estimates of the effects of environmental protection costs on production, consumption, revenues, and foreign exchange. The author explores these issues for the energy and nonfuel-mineral markets, sectors responsible for much of the current industrial pollution. Using a model, the author, examines the consequences of the developing world adopting the environmental standards of the industrialized world. The author assumes: all producers incur clean-up costs; most adjustment is made through changes in prices and quantities, not through altered trade patterns; and the industrialized world increases its environmental expenditures by the same fraction as the developing world. The author finds that increased revenue resources will more than compensate the average developing country for the costs of pollution control, so no assistance or intervention would be required. This assumes, however, that capital markets are perfect, which is far from the case in many developing countries. These imperfections constitute the greatest obstacle to successful environmental regulation. Loans of subsidies from North to South should be considered. Developing country producers should be given access to credit dollars, prices of imported pollution-abatement equipment could be reduced, or aid could be tied to the installation and maintenance of environmental capital. The author finds that environmental protection costs are small. Compliance costs of roughly three percent of product prices lead to changes in export revenues of less than one percent. The principal reason for this result is that mineral commodity demand and supply are inelastic in the long run. As for the incidence of environmental costs, an environmental"tax"is on average progressive, because low-income countries are typically net exporters of mineral commodities, where as high-income countries are net importers.

Suggested Citation

  • Slade, Margaret E., 1992. "Environmental costs of natural resource commodities : magnitude and incidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 991, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:991
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/619801468740385387/pdf/multi-page.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Seale, James Jr. & Walker, Wayne E. & Kim, In-Moo, 1991. "The demand for energy : Cross-country evidence using the Florida model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 33-40, January.
    2. Dean, Judith M., 1992. "Trade and the environment : a survey of the literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 966, The World Bank.
    3. Hazilla, Michael & Kopp, Raymond J, 1990. "Social Cost of Environmental Quality Regulations: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 853-873, August.
    4. Robert S. Pindyck, 1979. "The Structure of World Energy Demand," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661772, January.
    5. H. David Robison, 1988. "Industrial Pollution Abatement: The Impact on Balance of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(1), pages 187-199, February.
    6. Mutti, John H. & Richardson, J. David, 1977. "International competitive displacement from environmental control The quantitative gains from methodological refinement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 135-152, June.
    7. Hollenbeck, Kevin, 1979. "The employment and earnings impacts of the regulation of stationary source air pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 208-221, September.
    8. Margaret E. Slade, 1991. "Market Structure, Marketing Method, and Price Instability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1309-1340.
    9. Peter Hoeller & Andrew Dean & Jon Nicolaisen, 1990. "A Survey of Studies of the Costs of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
    10. Robison, H David, 1985. "Who Pays for Industrial Pollution Abatement?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 702-706, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:991. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.