Articles in Journals

2010
Reinhardt, Forest L, and Robert N Stavins. “Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Strategy, and the Environment.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 26 (2010): 164 –181. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We examine the concept of firms sacrificing profits in the social interest within the environmental realm, with particular focus on the case of the United States by addressing four key questions. May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Can they do so on a sustainable basis, or will the forces of a competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Do firms, in fact, frequently or at least sometimes behave this way, reducing their earnings by voluntarily engaging in environmental stewardship? Should firms carry out such profit-sacrificing activities (i.e. is this an efficient use of social resources)? We address these questions through the lens of economics, including insights from legal and business scholarship.

reinhardt_stavins_in_oxford_review_2010.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Storing Carbon in Wood: A Cheaper Way to Slow Climate Change?The Milken Institute Review 12 (2010): 18–25. Publisher's Version milken_institute_review_on_carbon_sequestration.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N, and Robert C Stowe. “What Hath Copenhagen Wrought? A Preliminary Assessment.” Environment 52 (2010): 8–14. Publisher's Version stavins_stowe_environment.pdf

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2009
Olmstead, Sheila M, and Robert N Stavins. “Comparing Price and Nonprice Approaches to Urban Water Conservation.” Water Resources Research 45 (2009): 10. Publisher's Version olmstead_stavins_water_resources_research.pdf

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Jaffe, Judson, Matthew Ranson, and Robert N Stavins. “Linking Tradable Permit Systems: A Key Element of Emerging International Climate Policy Architecture.” Ecology Law Quarterly 36 (2009): 789–808. Publisher's Version jaffe-ranson-stavins-elq.pdf

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2008
Stavins, Robert N. “Addressing Climate Change with a Comprehensive Us Cap-and-Trade System.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24 (2008): 298 –321. Publisher's VersionAbstract

There is growing impetus for a domestic US climate policy that can provide meaningful reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. I describe and analyse an up-stream, economy-wide CO2 cap-and-trade system which implements a gradual trajectory of emissions reductions (with inclusion over time of non-CO2 greenhouse gases), and includes mechanisms to reduce cost uncertainty. Initially, half of the allowances are allocated through auction and half through free distribution, with the share being auctioned gradually increasing to 100 per cent over 25 years. The system provides for linkage with emission-reduction credit projects in other countries, harmonization over time with effective cap-and-trade systems in other countries and regions, and appropriate linkage with actions taken in other countries, in order to establish a level playing field among domestically produced and imported products.

stavins_article_on_us_cap-and-trade_for_oxford_review.pdf

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Aldy, Joseph E, and Robert N Stavins. “Climate Policy Architectures for the Post-Kyoto World.” Environment 50 (2008): 6–17. Publisher's Version aldy-stavins-environment-1.pdf

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Reinhardt, Forest L, Robert N Stavins, and Richard HK Vietor. “Corporate Social Responsibility Through an Economic Lens.” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 2 (2008): 219–239. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Business leaders, government officials, and academics are focusing considerable attention on the concept of “corporate social responsibility” (CSR), particularly in the realm of environmental protection. Beyond complete compliance with environmental regulations, do firms have additional moral or social responsibilities to commit resources to environmental protection? How should we think about the notion of firms sacrificing profits in the social interest? May they do so within the scope of their fiduciary responsibilities to their shareholders? Can they do so on a sustainable basis, or will the forces of a competitive marketplace render such efforts and their impacts transient at best? Do firms, in fact, frequently or at least sometimes behave this way, reducing their earnings by voluntarily engaging in environmental stewardship? And finally, should firms carry out such profit-sacrificing activities (i.e., is this an efficient use of social resources)? We address these questions through the lens of economics, including insights from legal analysis and business scholarship.

reinhardt_stavins_vietor_reep.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “A Meaningful U.s. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Climate Change.” Harvard Environmental Law Review 32 (2008): 293–371. Publisher's Version helr_cap_trade_stavins.pdf

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Lubowski, Ruben N, Andrew J Plantinga, and Robert N Stavins. “What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions.” Land Economics 84 (2008): 529–550. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Land-use changes involve important economic and environmental effects with implications for international trade, global climate change, wildlife, and other policy issues. We use an econometric model to identify factors driving land-use change in the United States between 1982 and 1997. We quantify the effects of net returns to alternative land uses on private landowners' decisions to allocate land among six major uses, drawing on detailed micro-data on land use and land quality that are comprehensive of the contiguous United States. This analysis provides the first evidence of the relative historical importance of markets and federal farm policies affecting land-use changes nationally. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Land Economics is the property of University of Wisconsin Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

whatdriveslandusechange.pdf

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2007
Stavins, Robert N. “Book Review: Jancis Robinson, Tasting Pleasures – Confessions of a Wine Lover.” Journal of Wine Economics 2 (2007): 106–108. Publisher's Version tasting_pleasure_by_jancis_robinson_review_by_stavins_proof.pdf

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Bennear, Lori Snyder, and Robert N Stavins. “Second-Best Theory and the Use of Multiple Policy Instruments.” Environmental and Resource Economics 37 (2007): 111–129. bennear_stavins_for_ere_revisied.pdf

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Jaffe, Judson, and Robert N Stavins. “On the Value of Formal Assessment of Uncertainty in Regulatory Analysis.” Regulation & Governance 1 (2007): 154–171.Abstract

The US Office of Management and Budget introduced in 2003 a new requirement for the treatment of uncertainty in Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) of proposed regulations, requiring agencies to carry out a formal quantitative uncertainty assessment regarding a regulation’s benefits and costs if either is expected to reach \$1 billion annually. Despite previous use in other contexts, such formal assessments of uncertainty have rarely been employed in RIAs or other regulatory analyses. We describe how formal quantitative assessments of uncertainty – in particular, Monte Carlo analyses – can be conducted, we examine the challenges and limitations of such analyses in the context of RIAs, and we assess how the resulting information can affect the evaluation of regulations. For illustrative purposes, we compare Monte Carlo analysis with methods typically used in RIAs to evaluate uncertainty in the context of economic analyses carried out for the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Nonroad Diesel Rule, which became effective in 2004. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Regulation & Governance is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

jaffe_stavins_uncertainty_in_rias_in_regulation_governance.pdf

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Olmstead, Sheila M, W Michael Hanemann, and Robert N Stavins. “Water Demand Under Alternative Price Structures.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 54 (2007): 181–198. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We estimate the price elasticity of water demand with household-level data, structurally modeling the piecewise-linear budget constraints imposed by increasing block pricing. We develop a mathematical expression for the unconditional price elasticity of demand under increasing block prices and compare conditional and unconditional elasticities analytically and empirically. We test the hypothesis that price elasticity may depend on price structure, beyond technical differences in elasticity concepts. Due to the possibility of endogenous utility price structure choice, observed differences in elasticity across price structures may be due either to a behavioral response to price structure, or to underlying heterogeneity among water utility service areas.

water_demand_jeem.pdf

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2006
Anderson, Kym, V Ashenfelter, Victor Ginsburgh, and Robert N Stavins. “Editorial Welcome.” Journal of Wine Economics 1 (2006). Publisher's Version
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Newell, Richard G, Adam B Jaffe, and Robert N Stavins. “The Effects of Economic and Policy Incentives on Carbon Mitigation Technologies.” Energy Economics 28 (2006): 563–578. Publisher's Version energy_economics_newell_jaffe_stavins.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Film Review: Alexander Payne, Sideways.” Journal of Wine Economics 1 (2006): 91–93. Publisher's Version sideways_review_jwe.pdf

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Olmstead, Sheila M, and Robert N Stavins. “An International Policy Architecture for the Post-Kyoto Era.” American Economic Review 96 (2006): 35–38. olmstead_stavins_aer_2006.pdf

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Lubowski, Ruben N, Andrew J Plantinga, and Robert N Stavins. “Land-Use Change and Carbon Sinks: Econometric Estimation of the Carbon Sequestration Supply Function.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 51 (2006): 135–152. Publisher's VersionAbstract

If the United States chooses to implement a greenhouse gas reduction program, it would be necessary to decide whether to include carbon sequestration policies—such as those that promote forestation and discourage deforestation—as part of the domestic portfolio of compliance activities. We investigate the cost of forest-based carbon sequestration by analyzing econometrically micro-data on revealed landowner preferences, modeling six major private land uses in a comprehensive analysis of the contiguous United States. The econometric estimates are used to simulate landowner responses to sequestration policies. We treat key commodity prices as endogenous and predict carbon storage changes with a carbon sink model. Our estimated sequestration costs exceed those from previous engineering cost analyses and sectoral optimization models. Our estimated sequestration supply function is similar to the carbon abatement supply function from energy-based analyses, suggesting that forest-based carbon sequestration merits consideration in a cost-effective portfolio of domestic US climate change strategies.

carbon_sequestration_costs_w_lubowski_plantinga.pdf

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Stavins, Robert N. “Vintage-Differentiated Environmental Regulation.” Stanford Environmental Law Journal 25 (2006): 29–63. Publisher's Version vintage_differentiated_regulation_by_stavins.pdf

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