Gareth Edwards-Jones, Paul Brenton, Michael F Jensen, 05 September 2010

Is offsetting your carbon footprint always a good thing? This column questions the criteria used to label carbon footprints, arguing they can disadvantage developing countries. It suggests a variety of ways to overcome that problem.

Simon Dietz, Antony Millner, Geoffrey Heal, 01 September 2010

The answers to “How much should people sacrifice today for the benefit of those living several decades from now?” vary widely. This column suggests that people’s distaste for uncertainty – ambiguity aversion – favours immediate, rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ataman Aksoy, Francis Ng, 30 July 2010

This column sketches the changing face of global agricultural trade over the last 20 years. It finds that developing countries have not been able to increase their export shares in agriculture in line with their manufacture shares. What little increase there has been is largely the result of expanding exports to other developing countries.

Nicholas Bloom, Ralf Martin, 16 May 2010

Policies to improve management practices – such as competitive markets, business training and professional, rather than hereditary family, management – improve productivity and economic growth. Could this be at the cost of higher energy usage? This column, using extensive survey and experimental data, suggests that, quite to the contrary, well-managed firms are substantially more energy-efficient.

Gilbert Metcalf, 27 June 2009

Nearly all economists agree that the most efficient way to address environmental problems is to raise the cost of the pollution-generating activity, but US policies subsidise clean-energy alternatives instead. This column criticizes that approach – subsidies lower the cost of energy, play favourites with technologies, are often inframarginal, and frequently interact in unexpected ways with other policies.

Judith Dean , Mary Lovely, 14 May 2008

Chinese trade and pollution have exploded over the last decade. But new evidence shows that trade isn’t to blame for the pollution. In fact, Chinese imports and exports are becoming cleaner over time.

Marc Ivaldi, 23 October 2007

Trains use three times less energy than cars to transport people; six times less energy than trucks to move freight. Trains use and emit just one-fifth the amount of carbon dioxide. Governments can help fight global warming by using competition policy and tax incentives to induce transportation customers to switch to rail.

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