Sarah E. West

Sarah E. West
Macalester College · Department of Economics

PhD Economics, University of Texas-Austin

About

32
Publications
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Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Sarah E. West currently works at the Department of Economics, Macalester College. Sarah does research in Energy Economics, Environmental Economics and Public Finance. Her most recent publication, with Clemens Pilgram, is 'Fading premiums: The effect of light rail on residential property values in Minneapolis, Minnesota'.

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
We use difference‐in‐differences approaches and parcel‐level data from Minneapolis to estimate the effects of light rail on land use change using alternate definitions of treatment area. Results using circular buffers corroborate previous findings that light rail has virtually no effect on land use change in our study area. In contrast, light rail...
Article
This study uses property-level repeat sales transaction data to test for the presence of a premium for single-family homes within half a mile of stations on the METRO Blue Line in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the premium for station proximity varies substantially depending on control group and per...
Article
Debate about the appropriate design of energy policy hinges critically on whether consumers might undervalue energy efficiency, due to myopia or some other manifestation of limited rationality. We contribute to this debate by measuring consumers' willingness to pay for fuel economy using a novel identification strategy and high quality microdata fr...
Article
This paper calculates indices of central bank autonomy (CBA) for 163 central banks as of end-2003, and comparable indices for a subgroup of 68 central banks as of the end of the 1980s. The results confirm strong improvements in both economic and political CBA over the past couple of decades, although more progress is needed to boost political auton...
Article
Alcohol taxes are typically justified as a means to address externalities from alcohol abuse and to raise government revenue. Prior literature has focused on measuring the Pigouvian tax but has paid little attention to the fiscal rationale. This paper presents an analytical and simulation framework for assessing the optimal levels, and welfare effe...
Article
This study estimates parameters necessary to calculate the optimal second-best gasoline tax, most notably the cross-price elasticity between gasoline and leisure. Prior theoretical work indicates the importance of this elasticity, but despite this, almost none of the prior studies of commodity taxation (and none of the studies on second-best enviro...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops and implements an analytical framework for estimating the optimal levels and welfare effects of alcohol taxes and drunk-driver penalties, accounting for externalities and how policies interact with the broader fiscal system. We find that the fiscal component of the optimal alcohol tax exceeds the externality-correcting component...
Article
We use hedonic analysis of home transaction data from the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area to estimate the effects of proximity to open space on sales price. We allow the effects of proximity to vary with demographic and location-specific characteristics and include fixed effects to control for observed and unobserved neighborhood characteris...
Article
This paper considers the equity implications of vehicle emissions taxes by examining the incidence of a tax on local pollutants. It uses emissions data from the California Air Resources Board and household vehicle and income data from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey. It incorporates household price responsiveness that differs across income group...
Book
Full-text available
This book is a non-technical interdisciplinary collection of 12 essays, each of which uses natural or social science methods. The essays analyze a representative set of environmental issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. They consider problems at international, regional, national, and local levels and examine current and historical environment...
Article
Voluntary approaches have become a popular in the U.S. to enhance the efficacy and scope of existing regulations and to reduce emissions in sectors or for pollutants where formal environmental regulation is lacking. In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of a particular EPA voluntary program for the metal finishing industry, the Strategic Goal...
Article
Previous work shows that policies that subsidize new vehicles and tax size, miles, or gasoline efficiently reduce pollution. Less is known about their distributional effects. This paper examines distributional effects by estimating the joint demand for vehicles and miles, using the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Greater price responsiveness among low...
Article
When the automobile was developed near the beginning of the last century, it was the relatively new fuel gasoline, not the familiar ethanol that became the fuel of choice. We examine the intersections of the early development of the automobile and the petroleum industry and consider the state of the agriculture sector during the same period. Throug...
Article
All urban centers in California violate the Federal standard for ozone. So far, the State has addressed vehicle emission problems with a variety of mandates. In contrast, economic theory suggests that costs of achieving air quality can be minimized by the use of incentive policies such as permits, taxes, or subsidies. The purpose of the research de...
Working Paper
Full-text available
Rapid urbanization and increased industrialization have led to high pollution levels throughout Latin America. Economists tout policies based on market-based economic incentives as the most cost-effective methods for addressing a wide variety of environmental problems. This chapter examines market-based incentives and their applicability to Latin A...
Article
Most studies suggest that environmental taxes are regressive, making them less attractive policy options. We consider the distributional effects of a gasoline tax increase using four incidence measures and under three scenarios for gas tax revenue use. To incorporate behavioral responses we use Consumer Expenditure Survey data to estimate a consume...
Article
Full-text available
Despite technological advances, an individual car's emissions still cannot be measured reliably enough to impose a Pigovian tax. This paper explores alternative market incentives that could be used instead. We solve for second-best combinations of uniform taxes on gasoline, engine size, and vehicle age. For 1,261 individuals and cars in the 1994 Co...
Article
A tax on vehicle emissions can efficiently induce all of the cheapest forms of abatement. Consumers could drive less, buy a smaller car with better gas mileage, use cleaner gasoline, and repair pollution control equipment (PCE). However, the technology is not yet available to measure and tax each car's total emissions. We thus investigate alternati...
Book
Full-text available
This volume is intended as a supplement to Volume I, which details the issues surrounding the use of recycled materials by major manufacturing industries in Texas. In this volume, we report the results of the estimation of Texas manufacturers' demand for inputs using the 1995 IMPLAN input-output model and their most current (1993) manufacturing dat...
Article
Full-text available
By driving more miles in larger vehicles, Americans continue to frustrate efforts to reduce automobile pollution. Because a tax per unit of emissions is not yet possible, researchers seek feasible alternative policies that could reduce emissions. Such policies include a gas tax, and taxes or subsidies on vehicle characteristics such as size and vin...
Article
Books reviewed: Attractors, Bifurcations, & Chaos: Nonlinear Phenomena in Economics, by Tonu Puu. Geography and History: Bridging the Divide, by Alan R.H. Baker. Progress: Geographical Essays, edited by Robert David Sack. Political Ecology: An Integrative Approach to Geography and Environment-Development Studies, edited by Karl S. Zimmerer and Thom...

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This study uses property-level repeat sales transaction data to test for the presence of a premium for single-family homes within half a mile of stations on the METRO Blue Line in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we estimate find that the premium for station proximity varies substantially depending on control group and period definitions for “before” and “after” light rail. Using homes in the rest of Minneapolis as controls yields growing positive premiums from proximity to light rail stations, while using homes in neighborhoods similar to those near stations yield smaller premiums that fall to zero over time.