Three essays in environmental economics

Schwarz, Antonia Isabel Laurie (2020) Three essays in environmental economics. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Motivated by the desire to inform climate policy, this dissertation consists of a compilation of three essays devoted to unravelling the significance of weather and climate as drivers of social welfare in two different contexts: the impact of weather fluctuations on labour markets and the importance of heterogeneity in determining individuals’ preferences for climate. Chapter 2 investigates the existence of weather-related changes in earnings and working times in the Mexican labour market. Leveraging quasi-random day-to-day variation in an individual’s exposure to weather, I provide evidence of extreme-rainfall days causing economy-wide meaningful reductions in working times. However, I observe no average heat effects on either earnings or working times, but only a small cold-related drop in minutes worked. Further analysis reveals considerable heterogeneity in temperature and precipitation effects across industries as well as job- and individual-specific characteristics, with non-trivial earnings losses observed for individuals working in unprotected working environments. Applying a residential choice model, Chapter 3 tests for the importance of origin climates in driving climate preferences of Mexican migrants to the United States (U.S.). I find temperature preferences to differ significantly between migrants originating from colder and warmer Mexican municipalities. Building upon the findings from Chapter 3, Chapter 4 further investigates heterogeneity in the amenity value of temperatures and individuals’ willingness to pay (WTP) for mitigation of global warming. The study employs a two-stage random utility sorting model to analyse location choice decisions of Mexican migrants to the U.S. The econometric model captures both observed heterogeneity and unobserved preference heterogeneity in temperatures. Evaluation of the first stage is done following a Bayesian estimation procedure. Examining heterogeneity in individual climate valuations reveals significant differences in the marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for preferable temperatures across both demographic and clinal characteristics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.E5 Environmental policy and economic development. Sustainable development Including environmental economics
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2020 11:11
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 11:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/94051

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