GHG Emissions Growth in LDCs and the Introduction of the $3,000 Nissan

The WSJ reports  that Nissan will be selling a new $3,000 car in the developing world.  Depending on how the financing is set up (such as 10% down and 5% annual interest), many urban LDC families will be able to afford this product and transport emissions of CO2 will rise further.   The article highlights that the vehicle does not have a power engine nor does it have airbags.   In my own research, I have studied how developing nations import used vehicles from richer nations as a source of car supply.   For those who teach economics, this is an interesting example of how the introduction of a new good (the Nissan) can offer large private benefits but impose social costs (the carbon dioxide).    This is another example of why I started to write about the economics of climate change adaptation.   The developing world is going to create a lot of GHG emissions over the next 50 years.

Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

3 thoughts on “GHG Emissions Growth in LDCs and the Introduction of the $3,000 Nissan”

  1. The article says it is badged ‘Datsun’. Brings back my youth, it does. In California, when I was 20, there were a whole lot of little Datsun pickups on the road. Indestructible, wonderful. ‘DATSUN’ across the tail gate. And some wag ordered up the vanity plate ‘DO SHINE’.

  2. This is kind of a problem, isn’t it? Almost as though first world economies, in order to avoid climatic collapse (as described by Archer in “The 100,000 Year Thaw”), have no choice but to drastically reduce their CO2 emissions. I wonder if any American conservative of note would be willing to address (or even acknowledge) this, as, say, the Tories have in Britain. Even the “other” nutjob denialist country, Australia, is pushing through emissions reductions. Or maybe a solid half on the U.S. just doesn’t give a s**t.

    1. I just saw Jared Diamond speak again the other day, and he reminds us that it is very common for civilizations to collapse because they trashed their environment. Why are we any different? We aren’t.

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