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The Efficiency and Robustness of Allowance Banking in the U.S. Acid Rain Program

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  • A. Denny Ellerman
  • Juan-Pablo Montero

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical evaluation of the efficiency of allowance banking in the nationwide market for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission allowances that was created by the U.S. Acid Rain Program. We develop a model of efficient banking, select appropriate parameter values, and evaluate the efficiency of observed temporal pattern of abatement based on aggregate data from the first eight years of the Acid Rain Program. Contrary to the general opinion that banking in this program has been excessive, we find that it has been reasonably efficient. We also identify the erroneous assumptions underlying the earlier view and the conditions required for efficient banking to exist independently of changes in the counterfactual, an attribute we call robustness. These results show that firms use banking provisions in a rational and predictable way and that, at least in the US Acid Rain Program, there is no support for the often expressed concern that banked permits will be used all at once to create emissions spikes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 28 (2007)
Issue (Month): Number 4 ()
Pages: 47-72

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2007v28-04-a03

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Cited by:
  1. John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon, 2011. "An Experimental Analysis of Compliance in Dynamic Emissions Markets," Working Papers 2011-01, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  2. Mohamed Amine Boutaba, 2009. "Investigating efficiency in the U.S sulfur dioxide permit market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1308-1319.
  3. Färe, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Pasurka,, Carl A., 2013. "Tradable permits and unrealized gains from trade," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 416-424.
  4. Richard Schmalensee & Robert N. Stavins, 2012. "The SO2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment," Working Papers 2012.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Richard Schmalensee & Robert N. Stavins, 2013. "The SO 2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 103-22, Winter.
  6. Matti Liski & Juan‐Pablo Montero, 2011. "Market Power in an Exhaustible Resource Market: The Case of Storable Pollution Permits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 116-144, March.
  7. Boutabba, Mohamed Amine & Beaumais, Olivier & Lardic, Sandrine, 2012. "Permit price dynamics in the U.S. SO2 trading program: A cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 714-722.
  8. Wirl, Franz, 2009. "Oligopoly meets oligopsony: The case of permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 329-337, November.
  9. Benjamin Leard, 2013. "The Welfare Effects of Allowance Banking in Emissions Trading Programs," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(2), pages 175-197, June.

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