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Climate Policy and Nonrenewable Resources

The Green Paradox and Beyond

Karen Pittel

Recent developments suggest that well-intended climate policies--including carbon taxes and subsidies for renewable energy -- might not accomplish what policy makers intend. Hans-Werner Sinn has described a "green paradox," arguing that these policies could hasten global warming by encouraging owners of fossil fuel reserves to increase their extraction rates for fear that their reserves will become worthless. In this volume, economists investigate the empirical and theoretical support for the green paradox. Offering detailed and rigorous analyses of the forces and assumptions driving Sinn's argument, the contributors consider whether rising carbon tax rates inevitably speed up climate change; the effects of the design of resource markets, the availability of clean substitutes, and the development of new technologies; and the empirical evidence (or lack thereof) for the green paradox result. They consider extraction costs; sustainability and innovation; timing, announcement effects, and time consistency in relation to policy measures; and empirical results for the green paradox phenomena under several alternative policy measures. ContributorsJulien Daubanes, Corrado Di Maria, Carolyn Fischer, Florian Habermacher, Michael Hoel, Darko Jus, Gebhard Kirchgassner, Ian Lange, Pierre Lasserre, Volker Meier, Karen Pittel, Stephen Salant, Frank Stähler, Gerard van der Meijden, Frederick van der Ploeg, Edwin van der Werf, Ngo Van Long, Ralph A. Winter, Cees Withagen

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Demographic Change and Long-Run Development

Matteo Cervellati

Over the last two hundred years, mortality and fertility levels in the Western world have dropped to unprecedented levels. This demographic transition was accompanied by an economic transition that led to widespread education and economic growth after centuries of near-stagnation. At the same time, other changes have occurred in family structures, culture, and the organization of society. Economists have only recently begun to take into account the demographic transition from high mortality and high fertility when modeling and researching economic development. This CESifo volume reviews recent approaches to economic demography, considering such topics as the bio-geographic origins of comparative development differences, the role of health improvements and mortality decline, as well as physiological, familial, cultural, and social aspects.

After an overview of the study of demography and economic demography, the chapters cover subjects including the Neolithic era and the period of the formation of states and social institutions; longevity and economic growth; household decision making and fertility; land inequality, education, and marriage in nineteenth century Prussia; and caste systems and technology in pre-modern societies. The book concludes with a call for further investigation of the institutional and social factors that influence demographics and economies, suggesting that unified growth theory offers a potential approach to studying development.

ContributorsMatteo Cervellati, Francesco Cinnirella, David de la Croix, Carl-Johann Dalgaard, Matthias Doepke, Elena Esposito, Davide Fiaschi, Tamara Fioroni, Oded Galor, Boris Gershman, Erik Hornung, Fabian Kindermann, Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, Holger Strulik, Uwe Sunde, David N. Weil

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Industrial Policy for National Champions

Edited by Oliver Falck, Christian Gollier, and Ludger Woessmann

Prominent economists present the pros and cons of government’s subsidizing or protecting firms that are “national champions.”

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Public Sector Economics and the Need for Reforms

Apostolis Philippopoulos

The public sector has grown substantially in the last fifty years. In the euro area, for example, total government expenditures have been around fifty percent of GDP since the early 2000s, resulting in a growing tax burden or high public debt or both. At the same time, government had intervened in all aspects of economic life, from the provision of public goods and services to product and labor market regulation. Research shows that the effect of government size on economic performance is positive in countries where the public sector is efficient but negative in countries where it is inefficient. In this book, experts from academe and central banking discuss reforms that would make the public sector more efficient and/or more equitable. After a rich review of the public sector reform policy agenda, with particular attention to the role of the public sector and how to improve the provision of public goods and services, the contributors offer theoretically and empirically informed perspectives on some specific policy topics. These include public wage and employment policy, the role of international institutions such as the World Bank in promoting public sector reforms, the optimal mix of tax policy, the measurement of public sector efficiency, and the study of fiscal sustainability. The contributors relate these topics to such deeper issues as individual incentives as well as to policy debates over privatization, and austerity. ContributorsKonstantinos Angelopoulos, Stylianos Asimakopoulos, Danilo Ballanti, Roberto A. De Santis, Roberto Dispotico, George Economides, Pedro Gomes, Gabriella Legrenzi, James Malley, Costas Milas, Ilaria Petrarca, Apostolis Philippopoulos, Francesco Porcelli, Roberto Ricciuti, Lodewijk Smets, Peter Birch Sørensen, Petros Varthalitis, Francesco Vidoli

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Social Economics

Current and Emerging Avenues

Joan Costa-Font

The growing field of social economics explores how individual behavior is affected by group-level influences, extending the approach of mainstream economics to include broader social motivations and incentives. This book offers a rich and rigorous selection of current work in the field, focusing on some of the most active research areas. Topics covered include culture, gender, ethics, and philanthropic behavior.Social economics grows out of dissatisfaction with a purely individualistic model of human behavior. This book shows how mainstream economics is expanding its domain beyond market and price mechanisms to recognize a role for cultural and social factors. Some chapters, in the tradition of Gary Becker, attempt to extend the economics paradigm to explain other social phenomena; others, following George Akerlof's approach, incorporate sociological and psychological assumptions to explain economic behavior. Loosely organized by theme -- Social Preferences; Culture, Values, and Norms; and Networks and Social Interactions" -- the chapters address a range of subjects, including gender differences in political decisions, "moral repugnance" as a constraint on markets, charitable giving by the super-rich, value diversity within a country, and the influence of children on their parents' social networks.ContributorsMireia Borrell-Porta, Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, Joan Costa-Font, Elwyn Davies, Julio Jorge Elias, Marcel Fafchamps, Luigi Guiso, Odelia Heizler, Ayal Kimhi, Mariko J. Klasing, Martin Ljunge, Mario Macis, Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, Abigail Payne, Kelly Ragan, Jana Sadeh, Azusa Sato, Kimberley Scharf, Sarah Smith, Mirco Tonin, Michael Vlassopoulos, Evguenia Winschel, Philipp Zahn

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