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Moving Pollution Trading from Air to Water: Potential, Problems, and Prognosis

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  • Karen Fisher-Vanden
  • Sheila Olmstead
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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to assess the current status of water quality trading and to identify possible problems and solutions. Water pollution permit trading programs have rarely been comprehensively described and analyzed in the peer-reviewed literature. Including active programs and completed or otherwise inactive programs, we identify approximately three dozen initiatives. We describe six criteria for successful pollution trading programs and consider how these apply to standard water quality problems, as compared to air quality. We then highlight some important issues to be resolved if current water quality trading programs are to function as the "leading edge" of a new frontier in cost-effective pollution permit trading in the United States.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.27.1.147
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 147-72

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:27:y:2013:i:1:p:147-72

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.27.1.147
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    1. Segerson, Kathleen & Wu, JunJie, 2006. "Nonpoint pollution control: Inducing first-best outcomes through the use of threats," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 165-184, March.
    2. Stavins, Robert & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Discussion Papers dp-00-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
    3. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    4. Hung, Ming-Feng & Shaw, Daigee, 2005. "A trading-ratio system for trading water pollution discharge permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 83-102, January.
    5. Woodward, Richard T, 2010. "Double Dipping in Environmental Markets," MPRA Paper 26185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Hanna L. Breetz & Karen Fisher-Vanden & Hannah Jacobs & Claire Schary, 2005. "Trust and Communication: Mechanisms for Increasing Farmers’ Participation in Water Quality Trading," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
    7. Lars Hansen, 1998. "A Damage Based Tax Mechanism for Regulation of Non-Point Emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, July.
    8. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
    9. Krupnick, Alan J. & Oates, Wallace E. & Van De Verg, Eric, 1983. "On marketable air-pollution permits: The case for a system of pollution offsets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 233-247, September.
    10. repec:feb:artefa:0110 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hanna L. Breetz & Karen Fisher-Vanden, 2007. "Does Cost-Share Replicate Water Quality Trading Projects? Implications for a Possible Partnership," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 201-215.
    12. Herriges Joseph A. & Govindasamy Ramu & Shogren Jason F., 1994. "Budget-Balancing Incentive Mechanisms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 275-285, November.
    13. Richard D. Horan & James S. Shortle, 2005. "When Two Wrongs Make a Right: Second-Best Point-Nonpoint Trading Ratios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 340-352.
    14. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 2004. "The Coordination and Design of Point-Nonpoint Trading Programs and Agri-Environmental Policies," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 33(1), April.
    15. R. Scott Farrow & Martin T. Schultz & Pinar Celikkol & George L. Van Houtven, 2005. "Pollution Trading in Water Quality Limited Areas: Use of Benefits Assessment and Cost-Effective Trading Ratios," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
    16. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
    17. Cynthia Morgan & Ann Wolverton, 2005. "Water Quality Trading in the United States," NCEE Working Paper Series 200507, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jun 2005.
    18. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    19. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1992. "Environmental policy design and dynamic nonpoint-source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 22-39, July.
    20. Richard D. Horan, 2001. "Differences in Social and Public Risk Perceptions and Conflicting Impacts on Point/Nonpoint Trading Ratios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 934-941.
    21. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 1998. "Ambient Taxes When Polluters Have Multiple Choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-199, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. James Shortle & Richard D. Horan, 2013. "Policy Instruments for Water Quality Protection," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 111-138, June.
    2. Valcu, Adriana & Rabotyagov, Sergey S. & Kling, C.L., 2013. "Flexible Practice-Based Approaches For Controlling Multiple Agricultural Nonpoint-Source Water Pollution," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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