Friday, March 30, 2012

Open Access Might Not Stay Open Access Forever

I'm a bit late on this news, but I just found out that the kind of open access * B.E. Journals were sold to a publisher called De Gruyter and are now no longer open access at all. So authors who published in these journals in the past have now had their articles go from open access to being quite difficult to access as DeGruyter is not one of the big platform publishers like Elsevier or Springer that a lot of libraries subscribe to. I don't think that this will happen to PLoS or to journals like Theoretical Economics published by the Econometric Society, but it does mean you have to be wary of publishing with less known open access publishers who might suddenly not be open access in the future.

* You had to fill in a form that informed your library about the journal in order to access articles.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Citation Analysis of Environmental and Ecological Economics

A new citation analysis of environmental and ecological economics has just been published in Ecological Economics. The authors are Andreas Hoepner, Benjamin Kant, Bert Scholtens, and Pei-Shan Yu. It follows up on our papers on influential articles in the field (Costanza et al., 2004; Ma and Stern, 2006) by analyzing articles from 2000-2009. The main characteristics of their research design are:

1. They only look at citations to articles published between 2000 and 2009 in a group of 14 environmental and resource economics journals including Ecological Economics.

2. The main indicator is citations per annum which gives recently published papers much more weight than in most traditional rankings.

3. They distribute citations to authors and institutions on a fractional basis - so each author of our 2004 paper would only get 20% of the citations.

The results are interesting but different to what you might expect. Costanza ends up being ranked 61st in the field as all the above features count against him. C. C. Lee ends up in the 1st position in the ranking. Papers and authors associated with ecosystem services and payments for them are highly ranked which does make sense.

We did not publish a ranking of authors as part of our 2004 and 2006 papers but we did calculate them. So here are the rankings based on number of citations between 1994 and 2003 in articles published in Ecological Economics:

The full pdf is here. A peculiarity of this ranking is that all citations are assigned to the first author due to the limitations of the Web of Science database at the time. Despite this, it seems fairly plausible to me.

For JEEM, we came up with the following ranking:

Full list here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Academic Job Resources

I just sent out an e-mail to our PhD students full of links to job ad sites etc. and thought it would be useful to post it here too This is mostly going to be on econ jobs. Also, I don't know anything about searching for jobs in Asia and relatively little about non-English speaking Europe though I have been interviewed or discussed job opportunities in several European/Mediteranean countries, now and then.

For Australian academic jobs the main website is:

I find that most academic jobs in Australia are posted there.

For the US and international market in economics jobs the best website is JOE/AEA:

A lot of the top Australian and European etc. universities as well as all US universities will recruit via this website and the AEA meeting in January in the US - if you apply for jobs listed there (apart from Australian ones) you need to be prepared to pay your own way to the AEA meeting. There are also useful articles linked there on the job market in economics. There are other job sites I know of in econ (e.g. The Economist ) but they each have very few jobs listed.

For US policy related see:

More US academic jobs:

For US academic jobs you have to be aware of the very tight annual hiring cycle. Most jobs are advertised between September and February depending on field and very few long-term positions are advertised in the rest of the year. In econ, most jobs are advertised in October and November to start the next northern Autumn.

For UK jobs:


For academic jobs in the EU:

It's particularly hard to get good info on academic jobs in the environment area. The AAG has quite a few in geography and related areas but you need to be a member to access it:

Hope this helps people get aware of what is out there.

Adele Morris' Presentation

Video of Adele Morris' presentation at the Crawford School has now been posted on our website. Please click on the link above to view it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Follow up on InTech Book

Last year, I blogged about being invited to contribute a chapter to an open access book published by InTech. I declined the invite, not wanting to pay Euro 590 to publish a book chapter with an unknown publisher - book chapters, even in books published by well-known academic presses usually aren't cited much. Furthermore, I have recently concluded that publishing book chapters is detrimental to our university's ranking in the ERA research assessment exercise.* So I don't need any extra book chapters anyway.

The book has now been published and it is interesting to see the finished product. It turns out that the mystery editor was Shariar Khan of Independent University in Dhaka, Bangladesh who is also the author of Chapter 9. The chapters are an odd combination of physical science and social science articles on the theme of fossil fuels and the environment with authors from all around the world.

InTech claim that 2011 was a huge success for the company. They published 60,000 authors in over 1,280 books. The number of downloaded chapters topped 1.7 million in 2011, while the number of unique users exceeded 154,000 each month.

* This is the case in economics at least where book chapters are considered equivalent to C-ranked journal articles on the whole. ERA assesses publications on the basis of both the overall profile of journal publications and a peer review of a 30% sample selected by the submitting university. The 30% covers all journal, book, book chapter etc. items. If you publish a lot of book chapters your 30% sample will have to dig down deeper in your quality profile. So large numbers of publications in low quality outlets hurt more than a few publications in high quality outlets help I think. This is in contrast to the UK REF where each academic only submits their best 4 publications. Total numbers of publications are still useful for funding purposes in Australia. But increasingly the ERA ratings of the university will be used to weight performance on numbers of publications, grants etc...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Key Water Indicator Portal

The Key Water Indicator Portal has been released. This is one of the main outputs of the UN-Water Federated Water Monitoring System & Key Water Indicator Portal Project, developed by AQUASTAT of FAO, and coordinated by my former student Amit Kohli. This portal is intended to provide a simple way to view the latest data on UN-Water Indicators, which provide general water-related information on each country. Work on the portal has been ongoing for about a year, and its release was timed (Tuesday 20-March) for a few days before World Water Day.

New Zealand

I haven't posted much here in March because things have been ultra busy with the start of a new semester in late February and over the last ten days I've been in New Zealand. I went to attend the second lead author meeting of Working Group 3 for our work on the 5th Assessment Report (LAM2 WG3 AR5 in IPCC-speak). I also spent a few days travelling around the North Island with Shuang - this photo was taken on the lower slopes of Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. We got as far as Taupo and then headed back to Wellington. Around Lake Taupo there is plenty of geothermal activity. We visited some hot springs at Tokaanu:

and bathed in the baths there. There was steam rising from the water on the shore of Lake Taupo next to where we stayed too. One day the city of Taupo and much of the central North Island will probably be destroyed in a volcanic eruption. Lake Taupo is the caldera of the world's most destructive volcano. The caldera was formed in a massive eruption around 26,000 years ago. The last major eruption happened in 181 AD when around 30 cubic kilometres of material was erupted in about 20 minutes from vents just off the southeastern shore of the Lake. It is really hard to imagine such an eruption. Large areas of the North Island are covered in thick ash deposits (ignimbrite) from these and other eruptions. Discounting of the future means that human activity goes on all around and on the supervolcano...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hub Project Almost Wrapped Up

The main paper from my Environmental Economics Research Hub project has just been accepted for publication in Energy Economics. It is titled: "Modeling international trends in energy efficiency and carbon emissions". This is really the background paper behind the paper that Frank Jotzo and I published in Energy Policy in 2010. In that paper we applied this model to assessing climate policy in India and China. This paper goes into much more detail about the factors related to differences in energy efficiency across countries and the trends across the world in energy efficiency over time and whether countries are converging in energy efficiency or not globally (mostly converging if they are growing). I also do a decomposition of global energy use and carbon emissions and provide much more detail on the methods which are a bit innovative on both the theory and econometrics side. As you can tell there is a lot in the paper. There was even more in my original report. I already trimmed that report before submitting it and after refereeing I cut the choice theory model out and slimmed stuff down even more.

My Hub project was funded by the Environmental Economics Research Hub for a year from March 2009 to March 2010 during which I was a researcher in the Arndt Corden Department of Economics at ANU. So it has taken almost two years to go from working paper to acceptance and will be more time until publication. The third paper that emerged from the project was between estimates of the environmental Kuznets curve, which was published in Ecological Economics eventually.

The Hub itself was a research network involving ANU and other Australian universities funded under the CERF scheme that funded research in various environmental areas.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Adele Morris

Adele Morris heads the energy and climate change program at the Brookings Institution. She presented at ANU today on clean energy technology. This covered a lot of the same ground as my lectures in the CRWF 8000 course last semester and again later this semester so the video of her presentation will hopefully be useful for my students when it is available. She also mentioned a paper she coauthored with Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen published in the Energy Journal late last year titled: Subsidizing Household Capital: How Does Energy Efficiency Policy Compare to a Carbon Tax?. The paper compares a tax credit for energy efficient household technology with an economy-wide carbon tax. The money raised by the carbon tax is similar to the tax-expenditure of the tax credit. But the effects on emissions are dramatically different. From the abstract:

"This study uses a general equilibrium model to compare environmental and economic outcomes of two policies: (1) a tax credit of 10 percent of the price of household capital that is 20 percent more energy efficient than its unsubsidized counterpart, assuming half of new household investment qualifies for the credit; and (2) a tax starting at $30 ($2007) per metric ton of CO2 rising five percent annually. By 2040, the carbon tax and tax credit reduce emissions by about 60 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. ... Both policies have similar impacts on the federal budget, but of opposite signs."

The dramatic difference can be put down to the rebound effect. This shows how ineffective energy efficiency policy could be as I have explained before

Monday, March 12, 2012


CollEc is an interesting new service from RePEc that lets users find connections between economists. As well as showing Erdös number* like paths between economists, it generates two statistics:

Closeness ranking looks at how far an author is, on average, to all others economists.

Betweenness ranking looks how many times an author appears on average on shortest paths between all other economists.

These can give you an idea of how central or typical an economist any one person is as well as how involved they are in mainstream economic research.

Here is the page for me. As there are about 30,000 economists registered in RePEc I am moderately centrally located and quite involved in mainstream networks. Among my coauthors, Ed Barbier is most centrally located and plugged in. Nick Hanley (not a coauthor, current visitor to the Crawford School) is really connected.

I think this could be a good predictor of your chances of getting published in a top journal in economics :)

* Probably we should compute Stiglitz Numbers as I think he is the most famous, most centrally placed economist.

Decomposing the 2010 Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rebound

In January, Glen Peters et al. published a short paper in Nature Climate Change on trends in global carbon emissions in the wake of the global financial crisis. The key point was that the rebound in emissions in 2010 was much more rapid relative to the previous trend than in previous economic downturns as illustrated in this figure:

Emissions have returned to the trend that held during the last boom rather than there being a break in trend. Our article, appearing in the same journal, examines the reasons for this using the Kaya Identity. In 2010 GDP grew rapidly and both energy intensity of GDP and the carbon intensity of the energy input (grams of carbon per joule) increased:

In recent decades both the latter factors have declined, but since 2001 carbon intensity has risen due to the carbonization in India and China. Energy intensity does seem to rise in the recovery from recessions but in the past has been mitigated by declining carbon intensity.

The text of our media release follows:



A recent spike in worldwide carbon emissions growth was caused by the rebound from the global financial crisis and is likely to be a one-off, according to a new study from The Australian National University.

The study found that global carbon emissions remain on a relentless upward trend, though efforts to shift to low-carbon energy and cut energy demand are bearing some fruit.

Led by Dr Frank Jotzo, director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy in the ANU Crawford School, the study traced the causes of a surge in carbon emissions during 2010. It found that the surge was due to a combination of unusual factors and was unlikely to happen again.

“The global economy grew very quickly in 2010. In addition, relatively low fossil fuel prices and fiscal stimulus spending on energy-intensive activities like construction contributed to a global emissions surge,” said Dr Jotzo. “The global mix of energy sources also shifted slightly towards higher-carbon sources during 2010.

“The 2010 emissions surge was exceptional. It is likely that global emissions growth slowed in 2011 and the fragile condition of the world economy suggests moderate emissions growth for 2012 as well.”

Dr Paul Burke, a co-author of the study and energy economist at ANU, added that 2010 saw a rare occurrence of energy demand outpacing world economic output, or GDP, as the world rebounded from the GFC.

“For energy demand to grow faster than GDP is most unusual,” said Dr Burke. “Over the last four decades this has only happened on four occasions. Apart from 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, the effect was never as strong as it was in 2010.”

The researchers also found that global carbon emissions growth is likely to slow in years to come.

“Thanks to policy efforts to improve energy efficiency and shift to lower-carbon energy supply, combined with greater availability of natural gas and falling costs of renewable energy technologies, we can expect slower emissions growth,” said Dr Jotzo.

“For example, Australia’s emissions from energy and industry fell slightly over the year to September 2011. This was mainly due to a reduction in Australia’s power use and less coal-fired electricity in the energy supply mix. The use of more hydropower, a ramp up of other renewable energy, and energy savings all contributed to the outcome.

“Cutting global emissions remains an enormous challenge, because of the strong underlying growth momentum, particularly in developing countries. Energy efficiency will need to be improved at a rate of knots, and zero-carbon sources deployed faster. China, in many respects, is leading the way, but much stronger policy action is needed in just about all countries,” he said.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

For interviews:

Dr Frank Jotzo – 02 6125 4367
Dr Paul Burke – 02 6125 6566

For media assistance: Sarina Talip – 02 6125 7988