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NIPR newsletter, May 2000
On the heels of the release of Greening Industry and its
related-conferences, the NIPR team has had the report translated into
Spanish. This translation is now available. The NIPR has also been
involved in helping to put the World Bank's annual environmental strategy
conference online. We have also released two new research papers on China
and have updated the EPAs of the World and Conference sections. We hope
these will be of interest to you and look forward to your comments,
questions and suggestions.
1 - Spanish translation of Greening Industry
We recently have had our Greening Industry: New Roles for Communities,
Markets and Governments policy report translated into Spanish. Though the
translation at this time does not include photographs or graphics, it still
will be useful for policymakers in the region since much of the report
documents developments in Latin America. Greening Industry shows how
recent economic and regulatory policy reforms are reducing industrial
pollution in developing countries, without threatening economic growth.
After many failed attempts to import regulatory models from the industrial
countries, pioneers are developing a new model for pollution control.
Based on sound economic principles, this new model incorporates
market-based incentives, a broad commitment to public environmental
information, and targeted assistance to managers who are trying to improve
environmental performance. It stresses participatory regulation, with
community representatives taking their place at the negotiating table along
with government regulators and factory managers. With much better public
information about pollution, market agents also make their presence felt
through the decisions of consumers, bankers, and stockholders.
2 - A New NIPR Research Paper, "How the Chinese System of Charges and
Subsidies Affects Pollution Control Efforts by China's Top Industrial
While there are extensive theoretical studies on firms' response to
environmental regulations and enforcement, there are few empirical analyses
of firms' expenditures on pollution abatement in responding to different
regulations and enforcement strategies. NIPR's Hua Wang and Ming Chen of
the University of California at Berkeley present an empirical analysis of
pollution abatement efforts of Chinese industrial firms under a combination
of pollution charges and abatement subsidies. With data on China's top
industrial polluters and regional development, the econometric results show
that the combination of charges and subsidies practiced in China has been
effective in providing incentives for industrial firms to abate pollution.
3 - A Second NIPR Research Paper on China, "Valuing Water for Chinese
Industries: A Marginal Productivity Assessment"
The marginal productivity of water used for industry varies among sectors
in China, but there is great potential for the country to encourage water
conservation if the government would raise water prices for industry.
Using plant-level data on more than 1,000 industrial plants, Hua Wang and
Somik Lall estimated a production function treating capital, labor, water,
and raw material as inputs to production. The authors then estimated the
marginal productivity of water based on the estimated production function.
Using the marginal productivity approach to valuing water for industrial
use, they also derived a model and estimates for the price elasticity of
water use by these industries. Previous studies had used water demand
functions and total cost functions to estimate firms' willingness to pay
for water use. Wang and Lall found that the marginal productivity of water
varies among sectors, with an industry average of 2.5 yuan per cubic meter.
The average price elasticity of industrial water demand is about -1.0,
suggesting a great potential for the government to use pricing policies to
encourage conservation. The authors' analysis documents that increasing
water prices would reduce water use substantially.
4 - NIPR Features Environmental Initiatives elsewhere in the World Bank
The World Bank's Environment Forum webcast archives
NIPR launches a new feature highlighting interesting environmental
initiatives launched by other parts of the World Bank. In this edition, we
are featuring the Environmental Forum and Quetzalcam. The Bank's
Environment Forum, held in late March, was webcast live and the full
archives of this event are now available. The Forum, normally an internal
Bank strategy session, was made accessible to the public for the first time
through the Internet. The conference brought together key policymakers,
both inside and outside the institution, to discuss the Bank's strategy for
achieving its environmental goals. The key policy theme that emerged from
the two-day event was recognition of the close linkages between poverty,
health and environment and the necessity for encorporating environmental
concerns in future policy objectives and lending practices. Visitors to
the archives may view the full two-day conference, see selected speeches
from key policymakers, watch a 16-minute video that provides the highlights
and essential messages from the Forum, and learn about regional
perspectives on the Bank and its role for improving the environment through
interviews from invited environmental regulators and activists from around
Also, take a moment to see QuetzalCam, where a camera-equipped nestbox in
the Tilaran Mountains of Costa Rica captures lives images of the endangered
Quetzal birds everyday. The project was designed to give biologists a
unique opportunity to study Quetzals and other important biodiversity
issues. And the nestbox is entertaining its first newborn.
5 - Updated EPAs of the World section
We have completely revised and updated our EPAs of the World section. This
section is one of NIPRs most visited and provides important information for
those who wish to learn more about environmental protection and management
in specific countries. We now have web links to 176 environmental
protection agencies. As part of our community, you also may play a
valuable role in keeping us up to date on new or changed EPA websites and
6 - Conference section updated
We have also updated our Conference section with a host of new events. If
you have information regarding an upcoming conference or seminar on
environmental issues, especially those related to industrial pollution
problems, please let us know. We will be pleased to add it to this section
as time allows.
We appreciate your continued interest in NIPR's research. As always, we
would welcome your comments and thoughts regarding our research
initiatives. If you know someone who would be interested in receiving the
NIPR newsletter, feel free to let us know or have them contact us directly.
If you wish to no longer receive our monthly mailings, please let us know
by writing David Shaman at email@example.com. Best wishes.