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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato said that he finds “some encouraging signs that climate change is a challenge that the world can meet.” In an address to a Club of Rome conference held in Madrid on September 24, he called climate change “the most pressing environmental issue of the day.”

Mr. Muthukumara Mani and Mr. Per G. Fredriksson
This paper seeks to contribute to the unresolved issue of the effect of economic integration on environmental policy. In particular, we discuss the joint impact of trade openness and political uncertainty. Our theory predicts that the effect of trade integreation on the environment is conditional on the degree of political uncertainty. Trade integration raises the stringency of environmental policies, but the effect is reduced when the degree of political uncertainty is great. Political uncertainty has a positive effect on environmental policy as it reduces lobbying efforts. Applying our model to a unique data set of primarily developing countries, the empirical findings support the theory and are robust under alterntive specifications.
Ruchir Agarwal, Ina Ganguli, Patrick Gaulé, and Geoff Smith
This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network—representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one’s teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly for talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain ‘push’ incentives that reduce immigration barriers—by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent—could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42 percent. We concludeby discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
Mr. Muthukumara Mani and Mr. Per G. Fredriksson
We develop and test a theory of the rule of law and environmental policy formation. In our model an increase in the degree of rule of law has two opposing partial effects on environmental policy: first, a greater share of policy decisions are implemented according to law; second, industry bribery efforts increase because more is at stake. Moreover, we find that an increase in corruptibility of policymakers lowers the stringency of environmental policy. The empirical findings suggest that a greater degree of rule of law raises environmental policy stringency, but the effect is lower where corruptibility is high.