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Prices vs. quantities in a dynamic problem: Externalities from resource extraction

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  • Briggs, R.J.
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    Abstract

    This paper shows how a stationary tax policy can optimally address a flow externality associated with resource extraction when the policymaker faces asymmetric information. In the model I consider, the policymaker must set policy in each period before the realization of a price shock. Resource owners then learn the value of the shock, and the owners choose extraction quantities. The optimal policy is a stationary tax rule that responds to a positive shock to the current price by reducing next period's tax rate. Intuitively, a reduction in next period's tax rate makes extraction next period less expensive and thus dampens the resource owner's current response to a price increase. This policy is robust to some, but not necessarily all, boundary solutions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 843-854

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:33:y:2011:i:4:p:843-854

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

    Related research

    Keywords: Environmental policy; Resource policy; Choice of instruments; Asymmetric information; Non-renewable resources; Prices vs. quantities; Taxes; Permits; Uncertainty;

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    References

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    1. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
    2. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    3. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard & Zhang, Jiangfeng, 2003. "Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices," Discussion Papers dp-03-34, Resources For the Future.
    4. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
    5. Coria, Jessica, 2009. "Taxes, permits, and the diffusion of a new technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 249-271, November.
    6. Farzin, Y. H., 1996. "Optimal pricing of environmental and natural resource use with stock externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 31-57, October.
    7. Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2002. "Taxes versus quotas for a stock pollutant," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 367-384, November.
    8. Long, Ngo Van & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1985. "Surprise Price Shifts, Tax Changes and the Supply Behaviour of Resource Extracting Firms," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(45), pages 278-89, December.
    9. Weitzman, Martin L., 2002. "Landing Fees vs Harvest Quotas with Uncertain Fish Stocks," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 325-338, March.
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