Research spanning several disciplines has repeatedly documented disproportionate pollution exposure among the poor and communities of color. Among the various proposed causes of this pattern, those that have received the most attention are income inequality, discrimination, and firm costs (of inputs and regulatory compliance). The paper argues that an additional channel – information – is likely to play an important role in generating disparities in pollution exposure. The authors present multiple reasons for a tendency to underestimate pollution burdens, as well as empirical evidence that this underestimation can disproportionately affect low-income households. Using a model of housing choice, the authors then derive conditions under which “hidden” pollution leads to an inequality – even when all households face the same lack of information. This inequality arises because households sort according to known pollution and other disamenities, which they show are positively correlated with hidden pollution. To help bridge the gap between environmental justice and economics, they discuss the relationship between hidden information and three different distributional measures: exposure to pollution; exposure to hidden pollution; and welfare loss due to hidden pollution.
Environmental, energy, and ecological problems have grown faster than their solutions. Economists have an important role to play to address these issues by using the latest science, rigorous methods and innovative policy solutions. The SWEEEP webinar series aims to convene the academic community to contribute to the scientific, economic, and policy discourses on important environmental and energy issues.
The seminar presentations are scheduled to last 60 minutes, with questions at the end.
The European Institute on Economics and the Environment is a partnership between Resources for the Future and Foundation CMCC. EIEE’s impartial economic and environmental research aims to facilitate the transition to a sustainable, inclusive society.
Contact: Professor Massimo Tavoni
The Energy Management research team at the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) combines research on economics, strategic management, technology innovation and energy policy in order to create and share knowledge that will help society move towards a low-carbon future.
Contact: Professor Sébastien Houde
The ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is a leading German economic policy institute and a member of the Leibniz Association. ZEW's applied research aims to study and help design well-performing markets and institutions in Europe. In particular, it seeks to understand how to create a market framework that will enable the sustainable and efficient development of European economies.
Contact: Professor Sebastian Rausch
The Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE) was established in 1999 to complement the natural science and technical-oriented disciplines at ETH Zurich, by contributing to research and teaching in energy policy and economics. Through rigorous application of modern empirical methods, the goal of CEPE is to make critical contributions to the design and evaluation of energy and climate policy instruments.
Contact: Professor Massimo Filippini
To participate, use this zoom registration link.
23.09.2020 | 15:00 - 16:00 (CET)
- Research Seminars · SWEEEP Seminar