Monday, December 31, 2012

Scenarios and Forecasts of CO2 Emissions

Today's installment. This is another four papers, marked in bold the first time they appear. I can see already that either I am going to have to cut the number of papers covered or we are going to have to go to two volumes, which is an option. Also, I gave up and actually included an IPCC report in my list.


Economists first addressed the issue of climate change as part of the wave of interest in energy and environmental economics that followed the oil price shock in 1973-4. The first journal article on the issue is d’Arge et al. (1982), which references an earlier report (d’Arge et al., 1975) and conference paper by the authors.

Early scenarios and projections for future emissions of carbon dioxide were published the following year (Nordhaus and Yohe, 1983; Ausubel and Nordhaus, 1983; Edmonds and Reilly 1983). Edmonds and Reilly’s model was the basis of the energy module of the later IS92 scenarios. It consists of a multiregional supply and demand model for seven primary and secondary energy carriers. Aggregate energy demand is determined by GNP, which is driven by exogenous technological change, and autonomous energy efficiency improvements for each fuel type. There is also a feedback from energy prices to GNP. Predicted carbon emissions rose to 6.9 billion tonnes in 2000, 12.3 billion in 2025 and 26 billion by 2050 with an increasing share of emissions in the non-OECD world. The near-term prediction was remarkably accurate - actual global emissions were 6.8 billion tonnes in 2000. Predicted emissions for 2050 are higher than current BAU projections as we will see below. Carbon dioxide concentrations were predicted to double between 2049 and 2067 relative to the preindustrial level, which is in line with current BAU projections.

Many of the most important studies of future emissions have been published as reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other agencies. The IPCC has commissioned emissions scenarios roughly every decade – the IS92 scenarios (Leggett et al., 1992), SRES scenarios (Nakicenovic et al., 2000), and RCP scenarios (van Vuuren et al., 2011).

The first IPCC scenarios were produced in 1989. Due to the ending of communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe, the signing of an international agreement on the control of CFCs and new information in various input variables, the IPCC requested a revision only two years later (Leggett et al., 1992). These new scenarios were inputs to the 1992 Supplementary Report and the 1995 Second Assessment Report. These were the first scenarios to include the full suite of greenhouse gases as well as sulphur emissions (Nakicenovic, 2000). In addition to the energy module described above there are deforestation, agriculture, and halocarbon emission modules. Control of sulphur emissions is modelled as an increasing function of income level and an atmosphere/ocean module translates emissions into climate change. The scenarios modelled six alternative future worlds and comprehensively covered all sources of greenhouse gases translating them into CO2 equivalents. Scenarios varied on assumed population and economic growth and the availability of alternative energy technologies and fossil fuel resources. These scenarios result in a very broad range of emissions trajectories. IS92e saw emissions rising to the 20 GT range around 2050 and the 35 GT by 2100. IS92c predicted that emissions would decline after 2020. The preferred scenario, IS92a, was midway between these extremes with emissions around 20 GT in 2100.

The SRES scenarios prepared for the Third Assessment Report (Nakicenovic et al., 2000) are perhaps the best known of the IPCC scenarios. Nakicenovic (2000) discusses the development of these scenarios. Four storylines were developed which vary by population and economic growth, degree of international cooperation and trade, the rate of technological development, and the types of future policies. Five integrated assessment modeling groups cooperated to develop a total of forty scenarios based on the storylines. The results from one of the modeling groups was considered the representative or “marker” scenario of the storyline. The ensemble of results portray greater radiative forcing than the IS92 scenarios mainly because of reduced forecasts of sulfur emissions. The marker A1 and A2 scenarios also project less carbon emissions in 2050 than Edmonds and Reilly (1983).

van Vuuren et al., (2011) introduce the latest IPCC scenarios known as the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) prepared for the Fifth Assessment Report. This process is the reverse of previous scenario-building exercises as it starts with concentration pathways based on given radiative forcing targets and then works back to socio-economic scenarios that could lead to those outcomes. These pathways were supposed to be representative of the range of scenarios in the literature and are named for the level of radiative forcing in Watts per square metre in 2100. The RCP 8.5 and 6.0 scenarios might be seen as business as usual under more or less optimistic assumptions about technological change while the RCP 4.5 and 2.6 scenarios assume policy to control emissions. The RCP 2.6 scenario results in negative emissions in the second half of the 21st century which is only possible with biomass carbon capture and storage or air capture of carbon dioxide. Emissions under the RCP 8.5 scenario track those in Edmonds and Reilly (1983) while they are lower in the other scenarios.


Ausubel, J. H. & W. D. Nordhaus (1983) A review of estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions, in T. F. Malone (ed.) Changing Climate: Report of the Carbon Dioxide Assessment Committee, National Academy Press, Washington DC. Chapter 2.2 pp153-185.

  d’Arge, R. C. et al. (1975) Economic and Social Measures of Biologic and Climatic Change, U.S. Department of Transportation.

d'Arge, Ralph C., William D. Schulze, and David S. Brookshire (1982) Carbon dioxide and intergenerational choice, American Economic Review 72(2): 251-256.

Edmonds, Jae and John Reilly (1983) Global energy and CO2 to the year 2050, The Energy Journal 4(3): 21-48. 

Leggett, J., W. J. Pepper, and R. J. Swart (1992) Emissions scenarios for the IPCC: an update, in: J. T. Houghton, B. A. Callander, and S. K. Varney (eds.) Climate Change 1992: The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment, Cambridge University Press. Chapter A3, 69-96. 

Nakićenović, Nebojša (2000) Greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 65(2): 149–166.

Nakicenovic, Nebojsa et al. (2000) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press.

Nordhaus, W. D. and G. W. Yohe (1983) Future paths of energy and carbon dioxide emissions, in T. F. Malone (ed.) Changing Climate: Report of the Carbon Dioxide Assessment Committee, National Academy Press, Washington DC. Chapter 2.1, pp87-152. 

van Vuuren, Detlef P., Jae Edmonds, Mikiko Kainuma, Keywan Riahi, Allison Thomson, Kathy Hibbard, George C. Hurtt, Tom Kram, Volker Krey, Jean-Francois Lamarque, Toshihiko Masui, Malte Meinshausen, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Steven J. Smith, and Steven K. Rose (2011) The representative concentration pathways: an overview, Climatic Change 109(1-2): 5-31.  

My Year in Review 2012

This year was not quite as eventful as last - it was mainly a case of following through with things started or planned last year - but there is plenty to report.

In January I took over as Research Director in the Crawford School a role that covers both research related administration and leadership and being director of PhD study in the School. One of my first tasks was contributing to ANU's ERA 2012 submission. We were happy to see that our efforts and those of all the researchers that we were reporting on were rewarded with an improvement in ANU's score in economics compared to 2010. There were other big developments in Crawford's Research Profile over the year. CAMA moved to the Crawford School from the College of Business, which boosted Crawford's RePEc ranking in Australia to the top 5. We have made several other appointments and most importantly hired Bob Costanza to one of the Public Policy Chairs. Warwick McKibbin who moved to Crawford with CAMA in August was the first. Bob is the most cited person at ANU on Google Scholar Citations. Bob and Ida Kubiszewski have been visiting Crawford since August.

Old Canberra House, Crawford School, ANU

My role as PhD director took up more of my time but mostly it is a case of improving policies and processes and moving students through the milestones of the PhD. It's good that I have a great team working with me. I couldn't possibly do the job without the help of Robyn Walter who is our PhD administrator. I was also helped by PhD convenors in economics - Amy Liu, in policy and governance - Andy Kennedy, and Colin Filer for economics. Last and definitely not least is Megan Poore who has been acting PhD academic skills adviser since May. Megan has done a really great job working with PhD students one and one and in workshops and courses and steered the first year students committee in putting on our annual PhD Conference.

I published five papers this year. The paper in the Journal of Economic Surveys on interfuel substitution had been "in press" since 2010 but was finally included in a formal journal issue this year. I think we will be seeing fewer of these long gestations in the future. My other single author paper - on energy efficiency trends - was only in press since March. I first submitted it in 2010 though. I also published three papers with co-authors. A paper on the costs of reducing carbon emissions with Jack Pezzey published in AJARE, my first paper with Astrid Kander using long-run historical energy and growth data, and a short piece with four other ANU coauthors on decomposing the steep rise in global carbon emissions in 2010 in Nature Climate Change. The paper with Astrid was also my first successful publication in the Energy Journal. My chapter in the Encyclopedia of Environmetrics on ecological economics was also officially published and we had two articles published on The Conversation.

So far for 2013, I have one paper in press (see below) and a revise and resubmit. I only put out one working paper in 2012. There are lots of partly finished papers that we need to make progress on over the next couple of months. I have discussed or hinted at some of these ideas on this blog. I'll report on them in detail as they are gradually finalized.

Work began on the research funded by the ARC grant we were awarded last year. The most important activities this year have been Astrid Kander's visit to Canberra to collaborate on the project - writing a couple of those unfinished papers - and the search for a post-doctoral research fellow. We got a strong response to the advertisement (mainly through RESECON) and recently interviewed some candidates and are in the process of making an offer.

Earlier in the year, Stephan Bruns and Christian Gross visited Canberra. Stephan spent most of June working with me and I then went to the IAEE meeting in Perth and met up with Christian who then came to Canberra for a day before going on to the Schumpeter conference in Brisbane. We have several unfinished papers in progress :)

In addition to the IAEE meeting in June, I also participated in the MAER meta-analysis in economics workshop in Perth in September. They were the only two conferences I went to in 2012. I'm not a big conference-goer. I gave a couple of invited seminars. One at University of Western Australia and the other at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.

I went on two international trips driven by the IPCC Working Group III meetings in Wellington, NZ and Vigo, Spain. The first meeting was to progress from the so-called zero-order draft of the 5th Assessment Report to the first-order draft which was then opened to comments by reviewers. At the Vigo meeting we began the response to these comments and the views of the co-chairs on how the draft needs to change. The final meeting for us will be in Ethiopia next July. I took the opportunity for further travel before the NZ meeting and after the meeting in Spain.

Mount Ruapehu, North Island, NZ

On the teaching front, I taught a new course - Energy Economics - in the second semester. Based on the student evaluations, it was a great success. They especially liked the guest lectures I organized by Chris Short, Hugh Saddler, Paul Burke, and Astrid Kander.

I also again taught an introductory microeconomics course - Economic Way of Thinking I and gave a series of three lectures in our flagship CRWF 8000 course in each semester as well as a few guest lectures.

Finally, I also do a lot of refereeing and editing work... In my role as associate editor of Ecological Economics. I was involved in the dispute between Tol and Ackerman resulting in the posting of comments by me and them in the journal.

Things lined up for 2013 include a visit to Ethiopia and a paper in the March issue of the Journal of Economic Literature.

Tomorrow there'll be a post on the most popular blogposts of 2012.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Effect of Emissions Growth on the Climate

As usual, I'm going to serialize the review I'm writing as I write. Any comments and suggestions are welcome. I've marked in bold the actual papers that will be included in the collection. I'm also thinking to include the Keeling et al. (1976) paper but we have limited space and a long way to go. Another question is whether to include the highly cited paper by Plass in Tellus or the less technical one in American Scientist.

The science of the so-called greenhouse effect has its origins in the 19th century in the work of Joseph Fourier (1827) and John Tyndal (1861) (Held and Soden, 2000). The latter discovered that carbon dioxide and water vapour were the main greenhouse gases. Svante Arrhenius (1896) more fully quantified the greenhouse effect and was the first to raise the issue of the effect of anthropogenic carbon emissions on the global climate. However, Arrhenius thought that the effect of such climate change would be beneficial to society (Kunnas, 2011). Callendar (1938) compared the expected warming effect from accumulated anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions since the beginning of the century of 0.03°C per decade to the actual warming rate of 0.05C per decade. This was the first analysis of past human-induced warming. However, in predicting future CO2 concentrations he ignored economic growth and so predicted a concentration of 396ppm in 2100, a level that we have already reached and a warming of only 0.5C as he ignored the water vapour feedback that roughly doubles the effects of increased carbon dioxide. Several papers published by Plass in 1956 raised the alarm on climate change in a significant way for the first time. In the most cited of these, Plass (1956a) estimated that carbon dioxide concentrations would rise 30% over the 20th Century and temperatures would increase by 1.1ºC and that warming of the climate would continue for centuries if fossil fuels were extensively exploited. Plass (1956b) presented a less technical account with a clearer warning on future warming. In it he estimated that burning all then known fossil fuel reserves would raise global temperature by 7C once long-run equilibrium of calcium carbonate solution in the oceans was reached. Plass overestimated the direct effect of carbon dioxide, ignored the water vapour feedback and the length of time for the oceans to reach temperature equilibrium, and of course underestimated fossil fuel resources significantly. Still his estimate of the sensitivity of the climate to doubling carbon dioxide was not much higher at 3.8C than today’s consensus estimate of 3ºC (Knutti and Hegerl, 2008).

Regular measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentrations started two years later on Mauna Loa, Hawaii following the International Geophysical Year of 1957 (Keeling, 1960). Within a few years it was obvious that concentrations were rising consistently year by year (Keeling et al. 1976). Attention turned to the first long-run time series reconstruction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions from 1860 to 1969 (Keeling, 1973). Keeling’s results have stood the test of time and are very close to the most recent estimates. Global emissions from fossil fuel use rose from 93 million tonnes of carbon content in 1860 to 3,726 million tonnes of carbon in 1969. Cement production added another 74 million tonnes in 1969.

The articles discussed above show that the anthropogenic climate change problem has been discussed for much longer than may popularly be assumed. William Ruddiman (2003) argued in a controversial paper that anthropogenic climate change itself may be much older than was previously assumed by scientists and in fact anthropogenic emissions of these gases first altered atmospheric concentrations thousands of years ago. He makes three arguments to support his thesis. First, cyclic variations in CO2 and methane driven by Earth-orbital changes during the last 350,000 years predict decreases throughout the last 10,000 years, but the CO2 trend began an anomalous increase 8000 years ago, and the methane trend did so 5000 years ago. Second, published explanations for these gas increases based on natural forcing can be rejected based on paleoclimatic evidence. Third, a wide array of evidence points to anthropogenic changes resulting from early agriculture in Eurasia, including the start of forest clearance by 8000 years ago and of rice irrigation by 5000 years ago. He claims that these emissions were sufficient to prevent a predicted start of reglaciation of northeastern Canada. Anthopogenic climate change was, therefore, beneficial for human society up till the start of the Industrial Revolution but is increasingly less so.


Arrhenius, Svante (1896) On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature of the ground, Philosophical Magazine Series 5 41(April): 237-276.

Callendar, G. S. (1938) The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 64: 223-240.

Fourier, J. B. (1827) Memoire sur les temperatures du globe terrestre et des espaces plan- etaires, Mem. Acad. R. Sci. Inst. France 7: 569–604

Held, Isaac M. and Brian J. Soden (2000) Water Vapor Feedback And Global Warming, Annu. Rev. Energy Environ. 25: 441–475.

Keeling, C. D. (1960) The concentration and isotopic abundances of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Tellus 12(2): 200-203.

Keeling, C. D. (1973) Industrial production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and limestone, Tellus 25: 174-198. Cites = 209

Keeling, Charles D., Robert B. Bacastow, Arnold E. Bainbridge Carl A. Ekdahl, Peter R. Guenther, Lee S. Waterman, and John F. S. Chin (1976) Atmospheric carbon dioxide variations at Mauna Loa observatory, Hawaii, Tellus 28(6): 538-551. Cites = 442

Knutti, Reto & Gabriele C. Hegerl (2008) The equilibrium sensitivity of the Earth's temperature to radiation changes, Nature Geoscience 1: 735 – 743.

Kunnas, J. (2011) How to proceed after Copenhagen, Electronic Green Journal 1(31).

Plass, G. N. (1956a) The carbon dioxide theory of climatic change, Tellus 8(2): 140-154. Cites = 166

Plass, G. N. (1956b). Carbon Dioxide and the Climate, American Scientist (44): 302- 316.

Ruddiman, William F. (2003) The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago, Climatic Change 61(3): 261-293.

Tyndal J. (1861) On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours, and on the physical connexion of radiation, absorption, and conduction, Philos. Mag. 22: 169–94, 273–85

Capital Biased Technological Change

Another current debate is about the implications of capital biased technological change. It looks like there is going to be a series from Krugman on this. A previous blog by Krugman made the strange assumption that the capital stock was fixed. According to this blogpost, if you allow the capital stock to adjust workers are not made worse off in absolute terms by capital biased technological change though inequality rises assuming that some people mainly get labor income and some mainly capital income. Of course, it would make more sense to at least be using a constant elasticity of substitution production function with an elasticity of substitution that is different to one between capital and labor. You can't get biased technological change in a Cobb Douglas function without the ad hoc assumption that the elasticities change as the overall level of productivity goes up.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Reading List on Trends, Drivers, and Forecasts of Greenhouse Gas Emissions etc.

Back in February I mentioned I was putting a review together on  drivers and trends of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact this is for one of those Edward Elgar collections of classic journal articles in a research area titled Climate Change and the World Economy. After a long break I am back working on it. The list is now a lot longer, thanks in part to some of the help I got then. Now I need to cut it down to about twenty key papers but I'll include some of the others in my discussion. Any suggestions are still welcome.

This is just 1/3 of the overall book. My coeditors are Frank Jotzo and Leo Dobes who will cover mitigation, impacts, and adaptation. Citation numbers are from Google Scholar.

Aldy, Joseph E. (2006) Per capita carbon dioxide emissions: convergence or divergence? Environmental and Resource Economics 33(4): 533-555. Citations = 87

Arrhenius, S. (1908) Worlds in the Making, Harper & Brothers, New York. Arrhenius, Svante (1896) On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature of the ground, Philosophical Magazine Series 5 41 (April): 237-276. Cites = 1163

Ausubel, J. H. & W. D. Nordhaus (1983) A review of estimates of future carbon dioxide emissions, in T. F. Malone (ed.) Changing Climate: Report of the Carbon Dioxide Assessment Committee, National Academy Press, Washington DC. Chapter 2.2 pp153-185. Around 60 cites

Brock, William A. and M. Scott Taylor (2010) The green Solow model, Journal of Economic Growth 15:127–153. Citations: 218 including NBER Working Paper Brookes, L. (1990) The greenhouse effect: the fallacies in the energy efficiency solution, Energy Policy 18(2): 199-201. Cites = 141

Callendar, G. S. (1938) The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 64: 223-240. Cites = 387

Canadell, J. G., C. Le Quéré, M. R. Raupach, C. B. Field, E. T. Buitenhuis, P. Ciais, T. J. Conway, N. P. Gillett, R. A. Houghton, and G. Marland (2007) Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(47): 18866–18870. Cites = 850

d'Arge, Ralph C., William D. Schulze, and David S. Brookshire (1982) Carbon dioxide and intergenerational choice, American Economic Review 72(2): 251-256. Cites = 76

d’Arge, R. C. et al. (1975) Economic and Social Measures of Biologic and Climatic Change, U.S. Department of Transportation.

Dietz, Thomas, and Eugene A. Rosa (1997) Effects of population and affluence on CO2 emissions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 94(1): 175 -179. Citations = 196

Edmonds, Jae and John Reilly (1983) Global energy and CO2 to the year 2050, The Energy Journal 4(3): 21-48. Cites = 113

Edmonds, Jae and John Reilly (1983) A long-term global energy-economic model of carbon dioxide release from fossil fuel use, Energy Economics 5(2): 74-88. Cites = 132

Ehrlich, P. R. and J. P. Holdren (1971) Impact of population growth, Science 171(3977): 1212-1217. Cites = 1094

Fonkych, Kateryna and Robert Lempert (2005) Assessment of Environmental Kuznets Curves and Socioeconomic Drivers in IPCC's SRES Scenarios, The Journal of Environment Development 14: 27-47. Cites = 13

Garnaut, Ross, Stephen Howes, Frank Jotzo, and Peter Sheehan (2008) Emissions in the Platinum Age: the implications of rapid development for climate-change mitigation, Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24(2): 377-401. Cites = 56

Grübler, Arnulf and Nebojsa Nakicénovic (1996) Decarbonizing the global energy system, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 53: 97-110. Cites = 56

Grübler, Arnulf, Nebojsa Nakicénovic, and David G. Victor (1999) Dynamics of energy technologies and global change, Energy Policy 27: 247-280. Cites = 409

Heil, M. T., & Selden, T. M. (2001). Carbon emissions and economic development: Future trajectories based on historical experience. Environment and Development Economics, 6, 63-83. Cites = 69

Henriques, Sofia Teives, and Astrid Kander (2010) The modest environmental relief resulting from the transition to a service economy, Ecological Economics 70(2): 271-282. Citations: 6

Holtz-Eakin, Douglas and Thomas M. Selden (1995) Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth, Journal of Public Economics 57(1): 85-101. Cites = 710

Houghton, R. A. (1991) Tropical deforestation and atmospheric carbon dioxide, Climatic Change 19: 99-118. Cites = 291

Houghton, R. A. (2003) Revised estimates of the annual net flux of carbon to the atmosphere from changes in land use and land management 1850-2000, Tellus 55B: 378-390. Cites = 708

Keeling, C. D. (1973) Industrial production of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and limestone, Tellus 25: 174-198. Cites = 209

Jotzo F., P. J. Burke, P. J. Wood, A. Macintosh, and D. I. Stern (2012) Decomposing the 2010 global carbon dioxide emissions rebound, Nature Climate Change 2(4), 213-214. Cites = 2

Kunnas, J. (2011) How to proceed after Copenhagen, Electronic Green Journal 1(31). Cites = 1

Leggett, J., W. J. Pepper, and R. J. Swart (1992) Emissions scenarios for the IPCC: an update, in: J. T. Houghton, B. A. Callander, and S. K. Varney (eds.) Climate Change 1992: The Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment, Cambridge University Press. Chapter A3, 69-96. Cites = 433

McKibbin, Warwick J., David Pearce, and Alison Stegman (2004) Can the IPCC SRES Be Improved? Energy and Environment 15(3): 351-362. Cites = 15

Morita, Tsuneyuki; Nebojsa Nakicenovic, and John Robinson (2000) Overview of mitigation scenarios for global climate stabilization based on new IPCC emission scenarios (SRES), Environmental Economics & Policy Studies 3(2): 65-88. Cites = 45

Munksgaard, Jesper and Klaus Alsted Pedersen (2001) CO2 accounts for open economies: producer or consumer responsibility? Energy Policy 29(4): 327–334. Cites = 263

Nakićenović, Nebojša (2000) Greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 65(2): 149–166. Cites = 40

Nakicenovic, Nebojsa et al. (2000) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press. Cites = 2824

Nakicenovic, N., P. Kolp, K. Riahi, M. Kainuma, and T. Hansoka (2006) Assessment of emissions scenarios revisited, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 7(3): 137-173. Cites = 39

Nakicenovic, Nebojsa, Nadejda Victor, and Tsuneyuki Morita (1998) Emissions scenarios database and review of scenarios, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 3(2-4): 95-131. Cites = 46

Nordhaus, W. D. and G. W. Yohe (1983) Future paths of energy and carbon dioxide emissions, in T. F. Malone (ed.) Changing Climate: Report of the Carbon Dioxide Assessment Committee, National Academy Press, Washington DC. Chapter 2.1, pp87-152. Cites = 123

Pepper, W., J. Leggett, R. Swart, J. Wasson, J. Edmonds, and I. Mintzer (1992) Emissions scenarios for the IPCC. An update: assumptions, methodology and results, in Climate Change 1992: Supplementary Report to the IPCC Scientific Assessment, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Cites = 535

Penner, J. E., H. Eddleman, T. Novakov (1993) Towards the development of a global inventory for black carbon emissions, Atmospheric Environment 27A(8): 1277-1295. Cites = 265

Pepper, William, Wiley Barbour, Alexei Sankovski, and Barbara Braatz (1998) No-policy greenhouse gas emission scenarios: revisiting IPCC 1992, Environmental Science & Policy 1: 289-312. Cites =12

Perry, A. M., K. J. Araj, W. Fulkerson, D. J. Rose, M. M. Miller, and R. M. Rotty (1982) Energy supply and demand implications of CO2, Energy 7(12): 991-1004. Cites = 19.

Peters, Glen P. and Edgar G. Hertwich (2008) CO2 Embodied in International Trade with Implications for Global Climate Policy, Environmental Science and Technology 42(5): 1401-1407. Cites = 345

Plass, G. N. (1956) The carbon dioxide theory of climatic change, Tellus 8(2): 140-154. Cites = 166

Plassmann, Florenz and Neha Khanna (2006) Preferences, Technology, and the Environment: Understanding the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis, Amer. J. Agr. Econ. 88(3) (August 2006): 632–643. Cites = 23

Raupach, Michael R., Gregg Marland, Philippe Ciais, Corinne Le Quéré, Josep G. Canadell, Gernot Klepper, Christopher B. Field (2007) Global and regional drivers of accelerating CO2 emissions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(24): 10288-10293. Cites = 798

Revelle, R. & Suess, H. (1957). Carbon dioxide exchange between atmosphere and ocean, and the question of an increase of atmospheric CO2 during the past decade. Tellus 9(18), 18-27. Cites = 603

Riahi, Keywan, Arnulf Grübler, Nebojsa Nakicenovic (2007) Scenarios of long-term socio-economic and environmental development under climate stabilization, Technological Forecasting & Social Change 74: 887–935. Cites = 217

Ruddiman, William F. (2003) The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago, Climatic Change 61(3): 261-293. Cites = 522

Schmalensee, R., T. M. Stoker and R. A. Judson (1998), ‘World Carbon Dioxide Emissions: 1950-2050’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 80, 15-27. Cites = 373

Shafik N., Economic development and environmental quality: an econometric analysis, Oxford Economic Papers 46, 757-773 (1994). Cites = 828

Smith, S. J., H. Pitcher, and T. M. L. Wigley (2005) Future sulfur dioxide emissions, Climatic Change 73: 267-318. Cites = 39

Smith, S. J., J. van Ardenne, Z. Klimont, R. J. Andres, A. Volke, S. D. Arias (2011) Anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions: 1850-2005, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11: 1101-1116. Cites = 47

Steinberger, Julia K., J. Timmons Roberts, Glen P. Peters, and Giovanni Baiocchi (2012) Pathways of human development and carbon emissions embodied in trade, Nature Climate Change 2: 81–85. Cites = 3

Stern D. I. (2006) Reversal in the trend of global anthropogenic sulfur emissions, Global Environmental Change 16(2), 207-220. Cites = 107

Stern D. I. (2010) Between estimates of the emissions-income elasticity, Ecological Economics 69, 2173-2182. Cites = 11 Stern D. I. and R. K. Kaufmann (1996) Estimates of global anthropogenic methane emissions 1860-1993, Chemosphere 33, 159-176. Cites = 66

Strazicich, Mark C. and John A. List (2003) Are CO2 emission levels converging among industrial countries? Environmental and Resource Economics 24(3): 263-271. Citations = 79

Streets, D. G., T. C. Bond, T. Lee, and C. Jang (2004) On the future of carbonaceous aerosol emissions, Journal of Geophysical Research 109: D24212. Cites = 93

van Vuuren, Detlef P., Jae Edmonds, Mikiko Kainuma, Keywan Riahi, Allison Thomson, Kathy Hibbard, George C. Hurtt, Tom Kram, Volker Krey, Jean-Francois Lamarque, Toshihiko Masui, Malte Meinshausen, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Steven J. Smith, and Steven K. Rose (2011) The representative concentration pathways: an overview, Climatic Change 109(1-2): 5-31. Cites = 91

Vollebergh, Herman R.J., Bertrand Melenberg, and Elbert Dijkgraaf (2009) Identifying reduced-form relations with panel data: The case of pollution and income, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 58(1): 27-42. Cites: 21

Wagner, M., 2008. The carbon Kuznets curve: A cloudy picture emitted by bad econometrics. Resource and Energy Economics 30, 388-408. Cites = 104

Westerlund, Joakim and Syed A. Basher (2008) Testing for convergence in carbon dioxide emissions using a century of panel data, Environmental and Resource Economics 40:109–120. Citations = 35

Yang, Christopher and Stephen H. Schneider (1998) Global carbon dioxide emissions scenarios: sensitivity to social and technological factors in three regions, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2: 373–404. Google = 34

Robert Gordon on Economic Growth

A recent working paper by Robert Gordon - Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? has been much discussed. Gordon argues that US growth has already slowed down and will slow further for various reasons including action on climate change. He describes the idea that rapid economic growth might be a once off event in human history as "audacious" (p2). But I think this is a commonplace idea in ecological economics. And slowing growth in the frontier countries is a common assumption in building business as usual scenarios for assessing climate change policies. On the other hand, it runs counter to the usual endogenous growth theory assumption that the rate of innovation continues to accelerate with growing world population. From this perspective it is a fairly radical idea that if true requires change to some theories.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Results from Stern (2012) Energy Economics Now on Data Page

The results data from my recent paper in Energy Economics are now up on my data page.

Data is presented in terms of distances and log distances relative to a stochastic frontier estimated with the between estimator for the 1971-2007 period. A distance of one (or log of zero) implies that a country is just on this frontier. But the frontier moves over time as world best practice improves. Countries can have time series values below zero (or a distance of less than one) because they may reach levels of energy efficiency greater than the the average best practice for the whole period. This is especially the case in the later years. The file also gives income per capita in PPP terms from the Penn World Table. Click here for more posts explaining this project.

Latest Crawford Research News

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some Recent Literature on Journal Impact Factors

Following up on a post a few months ago here are some more comments on recent articles on journal impact factors:

Van Raan (2012) shows that there is a strong correlation (0.87) between the log of average citations per article for a research group and the average impact factor of the journals they publish in across 157 chemistry research groups in the Netherlands. But correlations are much lower between the citations to individual articles and the impact factors of the journals they publish in.

Vanclay (2012) strongly criticizes the impact factor in the lead paper in a special issue of Scientometrics on journal impact factors. In the opening paragraph he likens it to phrenology. Many of the remaining papers are invited responses including from Eugene Garfield (Pudovkin and Garfield, 2012) the originator of the impact factor and from David Pendlebury and Jonathan Adams at Thomson Reuters the current publishers of the Web of Science and the Journal Citation Reports (Pendlebury and Adams, 2012).

Vanclay does suggest that impact factors would be improved if confidence intervals were reported. Pudovkin and Garfield (2012) argue contrary to Vanclay (2012) that as the impact factor uses the full sample of data it has no attendant uncertainty in its calculation. But this depends on how we frame the question. If we model the number of citations that the articles published in a journal receive in a given subsequent year using a probability distribution, then the impact factor is simply an estimate of the expected value or first moment of the distribution. As an estimate of an unknown underlying parameter it is uncertain and an uncertainty measure should be reported. By contrast, Moed et al. (2012) “agree with Vanclay that ‘‘error bars’’ are urgently needed in journal metrics.” (372)

As for the nature of the citation distribution function, Stringer et al. (2008) show that the distribution of citations to papers published in a given year in a given journal is lognormal for papers cited at least one. A journal’s proportion of uncited papers is tightly negatively correlated with the mean of its log citations. Though other distributions also fit the data well (e.g. Glänzel et al., 2009), publishing the mean of log citations, the standard deviation, and the uncited fraction would be very informative.


Glänzel, W. (2009) The multi-dimensionality of journal impact, Scientometrics 78(2): 355-374.

Moed, H. F., L. Colledge, J., Reedijk, F. Moya-Anegon, V. Guerrero-Bote, A. Plume, and M. Amin (2012) Citation-based metrics are appropriate tools in journal assessment provided that they are accurate and used in an informed way, Scientometrics 92: 367-376.

Pendlebury, D. A. and J. Adams (2012) Comment on a critique of the Thomson Reuters journal impact factor, Scientometrics 92: 395-401.

Pudovkin, A. I. and E. Garfield (2012) Rank normalizartion of impact factors will resolve Vanclay’s dilemma with TRIF: Comments on the paper by Jerome Vanclay, Scientometrics 92: 409-412.

Stringer, M. J., M. Sales-Pardo, L. A. Nunes Amaral (2008) Effectiveness of journal ranking schemes as a tool for locating information, PLoS One 3(2): e1683.

van Raan, A. F. J. (2012) Properties of journal impact in relation to bibliometric research group performance indicators, Scientometrics 92: 457-469.

Vanclay, J. K. (2012) Impact factor: Outdated artefact or stepping-stone to journal certification, Scientometrics 92: 211-238.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Doha Outcomes

The main outcomes of the Doha COP meeting that recently concluded were a potentially expanded commitment on financial transfers from developed to developing countries and the renewal of the Kyoto Treaty.

On the Kyoto Treaty I have seen no discussion in the media of the actual commitments participants have agreed to. It turns out that countries have simply used their Copenhagen commitments. So Australia will reduce emissions by 5% from 1990 levels and the EU, 20%. Now these are internationally legally binding commitments. Of course, the total emissions of these countries are only 15% of global emissions. The US never ratified Kyoto and Canada and Japan will not join in the next period. Supposedly, a new treaty is coming in 2015...

There has been much talk in the Australian media and particularly in The Australian about the financing commitment. The latter newspaper derived their numbers from a paper put out by Frank Jotzo but it seems to be used rather out of context. Frank has an op-ed out putting it all into context again.

Strength of the Go8

The Group of Eight are Australia's equivalent to the US R1 (or RU/VH in current terminology) universities. They are a self-nominating group but their research performance does stand out relative to the rest of the sector as shown in this graphic:

The Group of Eight are listed in the first eight columns and the other universities in the remaining ones. Each coloured square indicates a discipline at a university which was rated 4 or 5 (i.e. above world standard) in ERA 2012. The divide between the Go8 and the other universities is clearer in the social sciences and humanities fields such as economics (only one other university has a 4 or 5), business (none).

A similar pattern exists for research funding.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bob Costanza Appointed to Chair in Public Policy at Crawford School

I previously blogged about Bob Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski visiting the Crawford School from August to the end of this year. Now I'm happy to let you know that they're staying. Bob was appointed to one of the Vice-Chancellor's chairs of Public Policy at Crawford. The first such appointee was Warwick McKibbin. Ida will be a senior lecturer in Crawford.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Average Number of Authors by Discipline

There is lots of interesting information in the ERA 2012 report. One item of interest to an audience beyond Australia is the average number of authors per publication:

I was surprised that astronomy was highest rather than physics. But I guess not all physics involves particle accelerators :)

ANU Gets a 5 in Economics

The ERA 2012 results are out this morning. ANU got a 5 in economics compared to a 4 in ERA 2010. We got a 5 in econometrics and 4 in applied economics and economic theory. The econometrics score is improved on last time too and I predicted that we would get a 5 in econometrics though I didn't see us improving our overall score for economics. However, the ARC evaluate two digit fields like economics (14) separately from 4 digit fields like applied economics (1402). Different outside reviewers receive a different sample of publications to evaluate. The two digit score is not a weighted mean of the four digit scores.

Melbourne got three 5's and a 4 in applied econ (nobody submitted anything in 1499 "other economics" this time). Monash got a 5 for 14 and econometrics (1403) and a 4 for 1402 and didn't submit in economic theory (1401). UTS got three 5's - it also didn't submit in 1401. UQ got  5 in 1401 and 4's otherwise. That's it for the 5's. Full details are in the table below. Click on it to enlarge.

In other major disciplines of interest to the Crawford School we got a 5 in political science, 3 in policy and administration, 5 in environmental science and management, and 5 in anthropology.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Posts on 2012 MAER Colloquium

Margaret Giles and Tom Stanley have both posted some information and links about the recent MAER Colloquium in Perth. I'm the tall guy in the middle of the back row. The next colloquium will be in London. Greenwich to be exact. Organized by Mehmet Ugur.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Information for Prospective PhD Students

In the US, a proposal is not a requirement for applying to do a PhD. Usually, students do one to two years of coursework before writing their proposal and it is enough to confirm that a department has faculty specializing in the general area that a student is interested in, say energy economics or climate change in my case. But, here in Australia, we expect students to submit a detailed proposal, even though in practice this proposal will be extensively revised after they start study. And in our economics program there is a year of coursework before students switch to research only. It makes sense to me for a student to select an area of interest to the potential supervisor and then discuss with the supervisor how to develop the proposal. Of course, a student might have a burning issue that they can't wait to conduct research on. But I doubt there are really many such cases. I certainly didn't know what I wanted to research. This was one of the main reasons I went to study in the US rather than remain in the UK. In the UK I would have needed to submit a proposal with my application.

Jack Pezzey has some good guidelines to help potential PhD students think about the application process in Australia. He recommends developing the proposal in consultation with him. He also has a great summary of his current research interests. That was meant to be one of the purposes of this blog. I used to have a research page on my website. But I scrapped that when I started this blog. I've decided it's time to put up a research page again. I hope this will be useful to give potential PhD students and collaborators an idea of what I am currently working on or would be interested in working.

Some previous thoughts on PhD applications.

World Energy Outlook 2012 and the Rebound Effect

I have been reading the 2012 World Energy Outlook from the IEA.  There is a special focus section of three chapters on the role that energy efficiency improvements could play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report is generally very conservative on estimated uptake of alternative energy and, therefore, efficiency will be needed if there is to be any chance of staying within a 2C trajectory.

There is, however, only one mention of the rebound effect in this whole section in Box 10.2 on p316. Somehow they come up with an estimated rebound effect of only 9%. This is almost certainly an underestimate of the rebound effect. Typical estimates for direct rebound in consumer applications are around 30%, while on the production side and at the macro-level rebound effects can be much larger than this. The report does correctly note that:

"A significant portion of this could avoided by appropriate pricing policy"

A cap on carbon emissions will induce energy efficiency improvements as part of the solution. Though there will still be a rebound effect it can't result in the emissions reduction goal not being met. However, an efficiency policy without a carbon cap is likely to yield disappointing results in my opinion. With a carbon tax, rebound means that the carbon tax would have to be higher than it would be if there was no rebound, I think.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being on the Cutting Edge

I was just reading another essay by Paul Graham, which I thought was worth linking. A lot of this is true for academic research too. The best way to get lots of good research ideas is to put yourself at the cutting edge. Doing research on any idea you have should lead to more ideas. Having a prepared mind is important. Studying and doing research prepares your mind. A short-cut is to put yourself in an environment where there are people at the cutting edge. This is why it is important to go to a good place to do graduate study etc. Going to conferences and seminars even not in what you think is your area. Something a lot of grad students don't do, but the successful ones do.

Eventually, you'll find you have so many ideas you have to pick and choose and prioritize between them. Having ideas will no longer be the problem, bringing them to fruition will be. That's when you'll start getting other people to work on them for you :)


I haven't posted so far this month. I have been travelling. First I was at the IPCC Working Group 3 meeting in Vigo, Spain. Then I was in Vienna where I gave a presentation on trends, drivers, and mitigation of climate change at W.U.. Now I am in Israel visiting family. Just coincided with kind of a war going on... Early tomorrow morning I start the long trip back to Australia.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I know a lot of my readers arrive via searches for information on PLoS ONE. So as a follow up on my post on SNIP and SJR here is the data for PLoS ONE:

Two things stand out: First, the journal gets cited in strong citing journals as its SJR is relatively higher than its SNIP. Second, like the Article Influence and Impact Factor, SJR falls in 2011 vs. 2010 though SNIP is flat.

SNIP2 vs. SJR2

Following up from Monday's post on SNIP2 and SJR2. I finally got a copy of the full database. 16866 journals have both a non-zero SNIP and a non-zero SJR for 2011. It's hard to understand how a journal could have a positive SJR but a zero SNIP, but there are a lot of such journals. There are a total of 32060 journals in the database. I plotted the two indicators for the subsample of journals against each other:

The relationship is pretty linear in log-log space except that SJR is truncated at 0.1. The correlation between the two series is 0.75 (0.77 for the log series). 

There are 646 economics, econometrics, and finance journals that have a non-zero SNIP and SJR. Here is the scatterplot for the two indicators for this sample:

It looks very similar to the data for the full sample. So, it doesn't seem that there is a big difference between using one indicator or the other. Looking at the top 20 journals in economics and finance according to SJR, we have:

and looking at the top 20 according to SNIP we have:

The ranking by SJR does look a bit more intuitive I think. I'm thinking that long-term this is what we are going to be looking at using at the Crawford School once Elsevier have all the bugs out of the numbers :)

Monday, October 29, 2012


Elsevier has released it's latest journal impact factors - SNIP and SJR - and announcing some changes in the way they are calculated. They are now called SNIP2 and SJR2. SNIP stands for Source Normalized Impact per Paper and takes into account that citation practices vary across fields and the possibility to get cited is higher in some fields and lower than others. However, instead assigning each article to a field the adjustments are based on the length of reference lists in articles citing the journal in question and what share of those citations the journal in question has. SNIP2 makes some adjustments to reduce the effect of outliers and now the average SNIP will be 1 as will the average SJR. SJR is a recursive indicator similar to Article Influence or PageRank. Previously SJR strongly favored natural science journals and biomedical journals in particular. In other words, it wasn't source normalized. A first glance at the new numbers shows that SNIP doesn't look a lot different before, but that SJR numbers are now in similar ranges to SNIP.

At Crawford we are planning to allocate internal research funds awarded according to publication quantity and quality using SNIP to weight journal articles. It looks like the new metric will be just as suitable. We'll need more experience to see if SJR2 is superior to SNIP.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MYEFO Update

The Australian federal mid-year mini-budget was released this morning. The ARC pause on funding has been released and the Linkage program opened for applications. However, the SRE component "research quantum" will be cut relative to a projected inscrease as will so called facilitation funds. The research quantum are government funds for research provided to the universities partly based on their research performance that are similar to the overhead component in US grants. When you submit a grant application to the ARC here in Australia you do not include overheads in your proposal. This doesn't mean that the university doesn't earn overhead on successful grants. It's just done indirectly with a time lag. This is somewhat good news as the cuts are smaller than rumored and don't affect individuals applying for grants.

In total these cuts are estimated to cost ANU at least $3.4 million in 2013 and $8.1 million in 2014. 

More from The Australian here.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

ORCID is Now Open for Registration

I wrote about ORCID - a global system of free unique researcher IDs - more than a year ago. You can finally now register for ORCID and I just signed up and linked my data from my Scopus profile. Actually, it was Scopus' home page that alerted me to the possibility of getting an ORCID ID. Hopefully, this will really take off and allow the easy identification of researchers and their track records. Especially, those with common names like S. Liu or D. Stern.*

* D. I. Stern is a unique academic name but not all my publications or citations have both initials and David and Daniel Stern are very common names. This non-academic David I. Stern is pretty prominent too and I did find one David Ian Stern in Texas.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Journal Page Numbers are Disappearing

The UK-based Royal Society is dropping page numbers from its journal articles as it goes to the continuous publication model. This includes some of the oldest academic journals in existence.

I expect this trend to spread across academic publishing. The current situation with articles languishing in "online first" or "Articles in press" sections of journals for months or years (as in the example of my recent paper in Journal of Economic Surveys) before being included in a formal journal issue and being given a full citation is silly. I've read that journals do this to try to game citation impact factors, but I'm skeptical of that. It seems just to be conservatism to stick to the print production model when most access is now online.

Of course, some journals like Journal of Geophysical Research have been publishing articles with just article identifiers for more than a decade now and others like PLoS ONE started as pure online journals without page numbers.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ARC Funding Freeze

There has been a lot of uncertainty recently about what is happening with research funding in Australia. There have been no announcements on when the next application rounds will open and around now the results of the ARC Discovery grant applications from earlier this year for funding next year should have been announced. The federal government has promised to deliver a budget surplus and was rumoured to be looking at cutting anything they could to achieve the goal. We got some information yesterday at a Senate hearing, where the ARC CEO - former ANU Dean of Science Aiden Byrne - and the minister both were questioned. We were told that there has been a funding freeze in place since August. It looks like that we might have more certainty after MYEFO or "minibudget", which will be released on Monday. But it also looks like that not as much funding will be available in the near future as there has been in the recent past.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Per Capita Energy Use in the UK

The history of energy use per capita is quite different in the UK compared to other developed countries. Already by 1800 about 3/4 of UK energy use was coal as the UK was the first country to industrialize. Energy use per capita peaks before the First World War and never really "recovers". In most other countries there was a very strong growth of energy use between the end of the Second World War and the oil price shocks in the 1970s.

This data is a rough estimate of "final energy use". The energy in electricity consumed is included in the data and the energy used to produce the electricity is deducted. Currently, electricity generation is about 40% efficient in the UK, meaning that 60% of the energy used to generate electricity is lost as waste heat. There are also about 7% losses of electricity in the transmission and distribution system.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Energy Cost Share for England and Wales

Astrid Kander is visiting me to work on our ARC project. One paper we are working on is a comparison of Sweden and the United Kingdom. One of the our stylized facts on the relationship between energy and growth is that the share of energy in total production cost declines over time. This is very clear in the data from Sweden. But up till now, we've had very limited evidence for other countries. So we are putting together a comparable data set for England and Wales. The results are quite similar though less dramatic:
There are quite a lot of "kinks" in this data to be ironed out still, so this is very preliminary. We plan to fit the same model as we fitted to the Swedish data in our Energy Journal paper to this data too and then compare the results.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 US EIA Annual Energy Review

The EIA's Annual Energy Review was published a few days ago. This is a fantastic "one stop shop" overview of US energy data. The graphics are particularly good. However, like last year's report it is only US data. From last year, the AER dropped coverage of international data, though the EIA website still provides access to it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Job Opportunity with the ICRC

Jack Gregory, who did a master research essay with me, which we now turned into this working paper, asked me to help find someone for this position:

We are currently looking for a recent grad to join the team at the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (the Commission):

The Commission is a statutory body set up to regulate prices, access to infrastructure services and other matters in relation to regulated industries (incl. water and electricity). Essentially, we are the economic regulator for the ACT.

Regarding the position, the key skills we are looking for are:

  • A background in economics, the environment or public policy;
  • A person with strong research and writing skills, capable of contributing discrete components to larger reports;
  • A person with above average skills in MS Excel and Word; and,
  • A person willing to learn on the job as well as possessing strong self-initiative and teamwork skills.

The position and salary will be commensurate with the successful applicant’s skills.  It will be at an ASO level, which is equivalent to the APS levels in the federal public service. Initially, we are looking for someone on a three to six month contract with the possibility of an extension.

Please visit for more information about the Commission or contact Jack on:

Phone - (02) 6205 8773

Email -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seminar at Crawford School: Astrid Kander - A Better Way to Assign Responsibility for Carbon Emissions

Astrid Kander will be visiting ANU for a couple of weeks next month and giving a seminar on the 22nd October. We are collaborating on my ARC project on energy transitions. Full details are at this link.

This presentation will highlight one drawback of the currently very popular consumption based emission estimates for assessing the impact of international trade on carbon dioxide emissions in individual countries. The MRIO (multi regional input-output) method and the SRIO (single regional input-output) method with actual technologies are similar in that they aim at allocating all global CO2 emissions to the country of consumption of the commodities rather than to the producer country. However, both methods have one severe drawback when they are used for assessing responsibility for global emissions; i.e., they neglect the NEGA-emissions, which are the saved emissions in developing countries due to importing goods produced using cleaner technologies in developed countries.

If the amount of CO2 emissions of a country’s consumption, adjusted for international trade, is the key question, then the appropriate method should be the MRIO method (or the SRIO with actual technologies), adjusted for the NEGA-emissions possibly incurred. It is suggested that this revised method could also result in all countries’ emissions summing up to actual global emissions. This new way of measuring responsibility would increase the legitimacy of the calculations as a measure of responsibility for emissions because both the consumption levels and patterns and the production technologies and energy systems of all nations would be taken into account.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post-Doc Position at Crawford School

I am looking for a post-doc to work with me on our ARC funded project Energy Transitions: Past, Present, and Future. As the ad says, we are looking for someone with expertise in computable general equilibrium and macro-economic modelling and an interest in energy and environmental economics and climate policy. If you are interested in the position, it's important to understand that you will be bringing expertise to our team that we don't have. So we really need someone who knows what they are doing rather than someone looking to use a post-doc to learn more about CGE modelling. That said, we do have faculty and students here at Crawford with expertise in CGE modelling and we have a strong concentration in environmental and resource economics and so this could be a good environment to develop your career in the field. I will certainly encourage the successful candidate to publish (including on previous research), attend conferences (some funding available) etc.

It will be an advantage if you have previously worked with the G-Cubed model but we will also consider candidates with experience with other models.

The higher stated salary is the rate of pay for a candidate with a completed PhD.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the position.

Monday, September 17, 2012

MAER-Net Colloqium

Somehow I never mentioned that I will be participating in this year's MAER-Net Colloqium in Perth. MAER-Net is a network of researchers using meta-analysis in economics. Meta-analysis is of course the statistical analysis of existing quantitative studies. It started in the area of medical and drug trials and is now used in many fields. There have been annual MAER Net Colloqia so far in Conway, Arkansas (home of Hendrix College and Tom Stanley), Cambridge, and now Perth. I'm presenting on our meta-analysis of the energy-GDP causality literature. We have a rough draft of a paper completed (as of yesterday) but I'd prefer to get some feedback at the workshop first before putting it up as an official working paper. We do have some interesting findings regarding this literature as well as some suggestions for new meta-analysis models. But if you are interested you will have to be patient :)

Also, a reminder that I will be giving a presentation at UWA on Friday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How Bad is the Academic Job Market?

History is supposedly one of the worst most over-supplied fields for academic employment. I often read about how "there are no jobs" and only going to Harvard or Princeton for your PhD can get you a job. But that is anecdote. Here are some data for the US history market. The main issue I think is that only 50% of starting PhD students ever complete the degree. However, of those that do complete the degree 60% end up with tenure track jobs within 10 years of starting. 20% end up in non-academic jobs and 20% are stuck with adjunct type positions that usually pay terribly and are very insecure. This doesn't seem that bad. Of course, the fraction who end up with jobs at research oriented universities is going to be quite small. If you want to have a good chance at a job like that you really do need to go to a top program. The same is true for other academic jobs markets like economics too, of course. Even though the economics job market is better but mainly because a lot of foreign students return to their home country and there are more good non-academic jobs available for econ PhDs.

Monday, September 10, 2012

$10,000 Top Up Awards for APAs

The College of Asia and the Pacific will pay top up awards of $10,000 per year to the most outstanding, newly commencing, PhD students who received APA awards (Australian government fellowships for domestic PhD students). This is a great opportunity to study for a PhD at the Crawford School and receive a much better than average stipend.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fuel Choices in Rural Maharashtra

I have a new working paper up coauthored with former masters student Jack Gregory. The paper analyses data from two tribal area villages in Maharashtra State. Jack organized and supervised the survey when he worked for the NGO WOTR in India a few years ago. The surveyed was intended to provide data on greenhouse gas emissions and so had some shortcomings as an information source for understanding energy demand and the choice of fuel. Still, we thought it was worthwhile presenting this information to a wider audience.

We found that there were really big differences between the villages. In the village of Purushwadi income had a big effect on energy use, but there was little relationship in the nearby village of Kohane. Unfortunately, we don't have any explanation for this difference. In Purushwadi the relationship between energy use and income was also different than that found in national surveys.

The national surveys show fairly constant use of biomass across income groups and increased use of modern fuels in the upper half of the income distribution in rural India (Khandker et al., 2012):

The numbers refer to income deciles. Unfortunately, we don't have data on electricity use, though we do have data on electricity connections. Here is the data for per capita energy use that we do have by income quintile in each village (P = Purushwadi, K = Kohane):

It seems to me that research in this area is mostly about coming up with common patterns but understanding more about the differences between villages might be also of interest.

Besides this, our modelling shows modest support for the energy ladder or rather "energy stacking" hypothesis. Energy stacking implies that rural households continue to use traditional fuels but add more and more of the modern ones as their income rises. Also we find that using higher quality energy sources reduces energy use, ceteris paribus. We also find that household size, stove ownership, and season influence rural energy choices. However, the effects of improved stoves are small and not consistent across the villages. This fits with recent evidence for modest or even perverse impacts of improved stoves.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what is involved in measuring energy use in rural India:

(a) Measuring rice with a 5 kg basket scale; (b) Measuring a headload of branches with a 25 kg hanging scale; (c) Measuring kerosene with a 200 ml graduated cylinder

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Visitors to Crawford

We are very happy to welcome Professor Robert Costanza and Dr Ida Kubiszewski as Visiting Fellows to the Crawford School.

Professor Robert Costanza was Distinguished University Professor of Sustainability, in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Before moving to PSU in late 2010, he was the Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and founding director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Before Vermont, he was on the faculty at Maryland and LSU, a visiting scientist at the Beijer Institute in Sweden, and at the Illinois Natural History Survey. Bob is also currently a Senior Fellow at the National Council on Science and the Environment, Washington, DC, and a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm, Sweden, and an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. Bob is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and was chief editor of the society's journal, Ecological Economics from its inception in 1989 until 2002. He is founding co-editor (with Karin Limburg and Ida Kubiszewski) of Reviews in Ecological Economics. He currently serves on the editorial board of ten other international academic journals. He is also founding editor in chief of Solutions ( ) a unique hybrid academic/popular journal. Bob is the author or co-author of over 500 scientific papers and 23 books. His work has been cited in more than 11,000 scientific articles and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers since 2004.

Dr Ida Kubiszewski was a Research Assistant Professor and Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, at Portland State University. She is also the Managing Editor of a magazine/journal hybrid called Solutions, launched January 2010. Solutions is an outlet for discussions focusing on solutions to the complex problems we are now facing in the context of whole systems design for a sustainable and desirable future. She is also the co-editor (with Karin Limburg and Robert Costanza) of Reviews in Ecological Economics, published annually by Springer, providing in-depth reviews of the most timely and important issues in the field of Ecological Economics. Ida is also a co-founder and former-Managing Editor of the Encyclopedia of Earth, an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. She is a Junior Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment and sits on the steering committees or advisory boards of various organizations including the Ecosystem Service Partnership, Environmental Information Coalition, and the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics.

Article on Climate Mitigation Costs in The Conversation

I have an article today in The Conversation explaining the main findings of our recent paper in AJARE. This time I managed to squeeze the "low hanging fruit" in. There is even a picture of bananas :) Go over to The Conversation to read and discuss it.

Crawford School Moves Up to Number 4 (or 2) in Australia

Following the move of CAMA from the College of Business and Economics to the Crawford School, Crawford has jumped from #6 in the RePEc ranking for Australia to #4. Crawford actually is the second highest ranking Australian department in the World ranking in economics after Monash. This is because Australian universities are strong in different indicators than typical institutions globally are.

The Crawford School first entered the top 20% list for Australia in May 2007 at 18th.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Media Release: Where is it Cheapest to Cut Carbon?

We have a media release out about our Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics article "Where in the world is it cheapest to cut carbon emissions?"

I actually really like an earlier version of this where we extended the "low hanging fruit" analogy, which really encapsulates our idea:

"Dr Pezzey said that cutting emissions could be compared to picking apples: “We’d expect there to be more ‘low-hanging fruit’ - low cost or easy options for cutting emissions - in countries that have had less aggressive energy efficiency policies and are therefore more emissions-intensive like the US or Australia.” he said.

“But the more fruit there is below a given height, the bigger the total crop is. A common global carbon price is like an agreement on how high up the tree each country should go to harvest emission cuts. So the total cost of such a policy should be higher in an emissions-intensive country, as it requires a larger total cut in its emissions.”

But it's hard to get too many ideas into a very short piece.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What Happened to the US Sulfur Emissions Market?

An interesting paper from Schmalensee and Stavins on the market for sulfur emissions in the US. This market is often cited as an example of the success of environmental economics and specifically cap and trade and I have used it as that in my teaching in the past. But what has happened more recently? The authors describe it as "ironic". After a period of relative stability often cited as a great success, the price of permits first sky-rocketed and then collapsed:

Essentially, the George W. Bush administration tried to tighten the cap on emissions significantly pushing the price up. In reaction EPA said they'd reconsider starting the collapse in price and then the courts overturned the new regulations. Then a couple of years ago the Obama administration then proposed state based emissions caps and limited interstate trading couple of years ago the market stopped trading entirely.

Schmalensee and Stavins still think that the program was a success if "ironic". I think this shows just how volatile emissions trading programs are and the likelihood of changes being made in response to price spikes that threaten or destroy the program. I think that the volatility of the European Union carbon trading market tells a similar story and increasingly shows that carbon taxes are the way to go. I used to be in favor of emissions trading due to the supposed certainty it would give on emissions reductions but real world experience shows that this could be a case of the perfect being the enemy of the possible.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ingelfinger Rule

Until I read this blogpost I didn't know this had a name: "The Ingelfinger Rule". Apparently, Franz Ingelfinger was the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. In 1969 he ruled that authors couldn't be published in his journal if they engaged in pre-publication or even media publicity around their findings prior to their article seeing print. This was for purely monopolistic reasons. But it is a rule that has become very entrenched across the biomedical and broader biological academic journal world. It hasn't had any influence at all in the world of economics, where prepublication is the norm. Occasionally, economists engaged in interdisciplinary work find that they can't get published because they weren't aware of these very different cultural rules.