Article

Thorsten Burandt, Konstantine Löffler, Pau-yu Oei, Luis Sarmiento

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Abstract

This paper uses numerical techno-economic modeling to analyze the effect of current national renewable targets and climate goals on the cost and structural composition of the Mexican energy system. For this, we construct a scenario analysis to compare current policies with two alternative states of the world: one without climate policies and one attaining full decarbonization. Furthermore, an additional iterative routine allows us to estimate the cost-optimal share of renewable technologies in the energy sector and the effect that deviating from this share has on total discounted system costs, emissions, and the structure of the energy mix. In general, the model results exhibit three key insights: (1) A marked dependence of the energy system on photovoltaics and natural gas; (2) The 2050 cost-optimal share of renewables for the production of electricity, transportation, and industrial heating is respectively 75\%, 90\%, and 5\%; and (3) As national renewable targets for the power sector are lower than the cost-optimal share of renewables, equivalent to the shares in a scenario without climate policies, and completely disconnected from national climate goals, these should be modified.

Luis Sarmiento

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Abstract

I assert that nitrogen oxides affect the cognitive productivity of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors participating in Mexican court hearings. This is the first article to document an effect of nitrogen oxides on labor productivity and the first to study the effect of pollution on judicial workers. I analyze the connection between both variables by merging hourly pollution measures with individual-level hearing data under the assumption that the length of the hearing approximates the productivity of involved participants. Causality comes from the use of panel and instrumental variable techniques alongside a substantial set of robustness and placebo tests. In the preferred specification, one standard deviation increase of nitrogen oxides increases the length of judiciary hearings by 3.68%.

Luis Sarmiento

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Abstract

This article looks at the effect of six different criteria pollutants and their associated pollution index on the discharge times of respiratory emergency room visits in Mexico City. The analysis is the first to look at the impact of criteria pollutants on the length it takes for patients with respiratory conditions to be cleared out from emergency room status. I infer causality with the use of spatial and temporal panel techniques that control for a broad set of relevant variables and use fixed effects to control for unobservable time consistent and seasonal covariates. In the preferred multipollutant specification, one standard deviation increase in the pollution index, carbon monoxide, fine particle matter, and ozone, leads to increments of 28.1, 22.3, 17.7, and 25.9, percent in the discharge time of respiratory emergency room cases in the city. These results show that environmental policies to reduce pollution can decrease treatment times at emergency rooms, reducing opportunity costs on patients and allowing for a reallocation of resources from pollution triggered to pollution unrelated conditions.

Luis Sarmiento, Juan Rosellón, Sauleh Sidiqui, Max Brown, Avraam Charalampos, Anahi Molar, Baltazar Solano Rodriguez

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Abstract

This article analyses the impact of variations in the price of natural gas on the power systems of Mexico and the United States. For this, we optimize both power systems under three different scenarios of natural gas prices and quantify the effect of each scenario on the structure of the power mix, system costs, natural gas markets, and the evolution of emissions across both nations. We develop an integrated modeling framework by soft linking five different techno-economic bottom-up models into three optimization steps. Our results show that in the short-term, high natural gas prices increase the use of carbon-intensive energy sources, while in the long-term, it favors the electricity generation with intermittent renewables. This temporal variation in the consequences of higher natural gas prices is reflected in short-term higher operational costs, lower capital costs, and higher emissions alongside opposite long to mid-term trends. Additionally, the effect of low natural gas prices exhibits mixed and worth discussing results.


  • Submission Status: Working paper.

Conferences

Luis Sarmiento and Nicole Waegner

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Abstract

Recent literature has causally linked environmental pollution to poor health outcomes that result in adverse labor market impacts. We assess the impact of pollution externalities from hydraulic fracturing on surrounding households’ labor market outcomes by analyzing health-related employee absenteeism: If fracking leads to significant negative environmental externalities, then individuals living in close proximity to fracking sites will have poorer health outcomes and a higher number of sick leave days than comparable individuals. We combine 2000 to 2014 individual- and household-level data from the PSID with oil and gas well data from Pennsylvania. We infer causality through the use of a differences-in-differences design that exploits intertemporal and geographical variation in construction dates and locations of fracking wells. Furthermore, propensity-score matching ensures comparability between treatment and control groups. Preliminary results provide the first evidence of a significant adverse labor market effect of fracking, indicating that exposure to a well increases absenteeism by three days.


  • Submission Status: Working paper still not submitted to any journal.

Conferences

  • EAERE 2019; Manchester, U.K..
  • Mannheim Energy Conference 2019; Mannheim, Ger.

Luis Sarmiento, Aleksandar Zaklan, and Julia Rechliz

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Abstract

We posit that pollution affects welfare outcomes directly, through a person’s health, and indirectly, through the health of her children. This paper is the first to consider the indirect channel to welfare losses from pollution. We analyze the effect of ozone on subjective health and life satisfaction using a panel of German individuals matched with highly granular pollution data. We find that individuals with children in their households suffer losses in life satisfaction due to ozone, while those without children do not. Ozone does not affect the health satisfaction of either group. We provide evidence on the mechanism of the life satisfaction effect by showing that ozone leads to losses in workdays to care for a sick child.


  • Submission Status: Submitted.

Conferences

  • 2018 Essen-Duisburg conference on health economics; Essen, Ger
  • 2018 LACEA-LAMES conference; Guayaquil, Ecu.
  • 2019 EARE; Manchester, U.K.

Luis Sarmiento

Expected working paper by October 2019


Abstract

I posit that the hourly variation of air pollution affects the probability of crime. To understand the connection between hourly changes in pollution and crime, I use administrative crime records from Los Angeles and New York police departments alongside monitoring stations data from the environmental protection agency. I infer causality through the use of ordinary least squares, Poisson, and probit fixed-effect models controlling for the census tract where the crime occurs, the hour, the month, and the year of the crime plus additional control covariates at the crime, tract, and city levels. Preliminary results point towards a large effect of ozone, fine particle matter, and carbon monoxide on criminality..


  • Submission Status: Working paper expected by October 2019.

Conferences