The Southeast Asian haze problem is a major environmental problem facing the region. Though significant progress has been made in both understanding and instituting policies and mechanisms to tackle it, the problem continues to persist even after nearly two decades since the region first experienced one of the worst episodes in 1997-98. I discuss some obstacles that, unless overcome, may prevent a permanent and effective solution. These include insufficient information required for effective policy making, divergence between incentives of the Indonesian government and the provincial and local governments, and lack of strong enough incentives to adopt green practices for clearing land. I draw a parallel between the Southeast Asian haze and a similar pollution problem from another developing country, namely, India. Policy recommendations include eco-labeling of products and subsidies to induce small and poor farmers to adopt green practices.
About the Speaker:
Parkash Chander, Professor of Economics and Executive Director of Center for Environmental Economics and Climate Change at Jindal School of Government and Public Policy, is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, an Associate Editor of Journal of Public Economic Theory, a member of the Advisory Board of Journal of Economic Surveys, and a member of the International Advisory Board of Singapore Economic Review. He has previously held professorial positions at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and National University of Singapore (in reverse order). He was formerly Head of Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and Head of Department of Economics, National University of Singapore.
He has researched primarily in the areas of public economics, environmental economics, and game theory and its applications to climate change. His publications include articles in Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory and other leading journals in economics. He has recently completed a book on climate change. He has also written on policy matters in national newspapers and magazines.
Professor Chander has held visiting appointments at Johns Hopkins University, California Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, and CORE (Louvain-la-Neuve) among other institutions.