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An Experimental Analysis of Auctioning Emission Allowances Under a Loose Cap

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  • Shobe, William
  • Palmer, Karen L.
  • Myers, Erica
  • Holt, Charles
  • Goeree, Jacob K.
  • Burtraw, Dallas

Abstract

The direct sale of emission allowances by auction is an emerging characteristic of cap-and-trade programs. This study is motivated by the observation that all of the major implementations of cap-and-trade regulations for the control of air pollution have started with a generous allocation of allowances relative to recent emissions history, a situation we refer to as a “loose cap.†Typically more stringent reductions are achieved in subsequent years of a program. We use an experimental setting to investigate the effects of a loose cap environment on a variety of auction types. We find that all auction formats studied are efficient in allocating emission allowances, but auction revenues tend to be lower relative to competitive benchmarks when the cap is loose. Regardless of whether the cap is tight or loose, the different auction formats tend to yield comparable revenues toward the end of a series of auctions. However, aggressive bidding behavior in initial discriminatory auctions yields higher revenues than in the other auction formats, a difference that disappears as bidders learn to adjust their bids closer to the cut-off that separates winning and losing bids.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association in its journal Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:90827

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Web page: http://www.narea.org/
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Related research

Keywords: auction; carbon dioxide; greenhouse gases; allowance trading; Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; RGGI; cap and trade; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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  1. Suzi Kerr & Richard G. Newell, 2003. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 317-343, 09.
  2. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
  3. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Krupnick, Alan & Evans, David & Toth, Russell, 2005. "Economics of Pollution Trading for SO2 and NOx," Discussion Papers dp-05-05, Resources For the Future.
  4. Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Shobe, William & Smith, Vernon & Winn, Abel, 2009. "The design, testing and implementation of Virginia's NOx allowance auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 190-200, February.
  5. Charles A. Holt & William Shobe & Dallas Burtraw & Karen Palmer & Jacob K. Goeree, 2007. "Auction Design for Selling CO2 Emission Allowances Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Reports 2007-03, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Messer, Kent D. & Murphy, James J., 2010. "FOREWORD: Special Issue on Experimental Methods in Environmental, Natural Resource, and Agricultural Economics," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 39(2), April.
  2. Regina Betz & Ben Greiner & Sascha Schweitzer & Stefan Seifert, 2014. "Auction Format and Auction Sequence in Multi-Item Multi-Unit Auctions - An experimental study," Discussion Papers 2014-31, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  3. He, Haoran & Chen, Yefeng & Last Name, First Name, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms for Allocating Subsidies for Carbon Emissions Reduction: An Experimental Investigation," Discussion Papers dp-14-06-efd, Resources For the Future.

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