Assessing Investment in Future Landsat Instruments: The Example of Forest Carbon Offsets

31 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2010

See all articles by Molly K. Macauley

Molly K. Macauley

Resources for the Future

Jhih-Shyang Shih

Resources for the Future

Date Written: March 22, 2010

Abstract

We extend the theory of quality-adjusted expenditure indices to estimate benefits from public investment. In particular, we model the selection of new instruments (in the form of remote-sensing devices) to enhance the longest-operating U.S. satellite-based land-observing program, Landsat. We then apply the model to the use of Landsat in measuring global forest carbon sequestration. Improving measurement of the role of forests in storing carbon has become a prominent concern in climate policy. By characterizing the value of Landsat data in forest measurement, the expenditure function allows us to help inform public investment decisions in the satellite system. The expenditure function also makes explicit the sensitivity of the selection of instruments for the satellites to the value of Landsat information, thus linking instrument choice explicitly to policy design.

Keywords: value of information, satellite data, forests, carbon, sequestration, Landsat

JEL Classification: Q, Q2, O3

Suggested Citation

Macauley, Molly K. and Shih, Jhih-Shyang, Assessing Investment in Future Landsat Instruments: The Example of Forest Carbon Offsets (March 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1577086 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1577086

Molly K. Macauley (Contact Author)

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Jhih-Shyang Shih

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5028 (Phone)

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