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The regulatory choice of noncompliance in emissions trading programs

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  • John Stranlund

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Abstract

This paper addresses the following question: To achieve a fixed aggregate emissions target cost-effectively, should emissions trading programs be designed and implemented to achieve full compliance, or does allowing a certain amount of noncompliance reduce the costs of reaching the emissions target? The total costs of achieving the target consist of aggregate abatement costs, monitoring costs, and the expected costs of collecting penalties from noncompliant firms. Under common assumptions, I show that allowing noncompliance is cost-effective only if violations are enforced with an increasing marginal penalty. However, one can design a policy that induces full compliance with a constant marginal penalty that meets the aggregate emissions target with lower expected costs. This last result does not depend on setting an arbitrarily high constant marginal penalty. In fact, the marginal penalty need not be higher than the equilibrium marginal penalty under the policy with the increasing marginal penalty, and can actually be lower. Finally, tying the marginal penalty directly to the permit price allows the policy objective to be achieved without any knowledge of firms’ abatement costs. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-006-9058-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 99-117

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:38:y:2007:i:1:p:99-117

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Compliance; Enforcement; Emissions trading; Monitoring; Transferable permits; L51; Q28;

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References

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  1. Carlos Chávez & John Stranlund, 2001. "Enforcing transferable permit systems in the presence of transaction cost," Working Papers 02-2001, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
  2. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  3. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
  4. Keeler, Andrew G., 1991. "Noncompliant firms in transferable discharge permit markets: Some extensions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 180-189, September.
  5. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
  6. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 133-48, April.
  7. James J. Murphy & John K. Stranlund, 2005. "A Laboratory Investigation of Compliance Behavior under Tradable Emissions Rights: Implications for Targeted Enforcement," Working Papers 2005-1, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  8. Boemare, Catherine & Quirion, Philippe, 2002. "Implementing greenhouse gas trading in Europe: lessons from economic literature and international experiences," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 213-230, December.
  9. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Kaplow, Louis, 1993. "Optimal sanctions and differences in individuals' likelihood of avoiding detection," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 217-224, June.
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  13. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stranlund, John K. & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 1999. "Endogenous Monitoring and Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 267-282, November.
  15. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  16. Malik, Arun S., 1990. "Markets for pollution control when firms are noncompliant," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 97-106, March.
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  18. Malik, Arun S., 2002. "Further Results on Permit Markets with Market Power and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-390, November.
  19. Carmen Arguedas & Hamid Hamoudi, 2004. "Controlling Pollution with Relaxed Regulations," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 85-104, 07.
  20. John Stranlund & Christopher Costello & Carlos Chávez, 2005. "Enforcing Emissions Trading when Emissions Permits are Bankable," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 181-204, 09.
  21. Agnar Sandmo, 2002. "Efficient Environmental Policy with Imperfect Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 85-103, September.
  22. van Egteren, Henry & Weber, Marian, 1996. "Marketable Permits, Market Power, and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 161-173, March.
  23. Carlos Chavez & Hugo Salgado, 2005. "Individual Transferable Quota Markets under Illegal Fishing," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(3), pages 303-324, 07.
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  25. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
  26. Stranlund, John K & Chavez, Carlos A, 2000. "Effective Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System with a Self-Reporting Requirement," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 113-31, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arguedas, Carmen, 2010. "Pollution Standards, Technology Investment and Fines for Non-Compliance," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2010/05, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  2. Arguedas, Carmen & Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "A Note on the Complementarity of Uniform Emission Standards and Monitoring Strategies," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2009/06, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  3. Villegas, Clara & Coria, Jessica, 2009. "Taxes, Permits, and the Adoptation of Abatement Technology under Imperfect Compliance," Discussion Papers dp-09-20-efd, Resources For the Future.
  4. John K. Stranlund & Carlos A. Chavez, 2011. "Who Should Bear the Administrative Costs of an Emissions Tax?," Working Papers 2011-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  5. Stranlund, John K. & Murphy, James J. & Spraggon, John M., 2011. "An experimental analysis of compliance in dynamic emissions markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 414-429.
  6. Stranlund, John K. & Chávez, Carlos A. & Villena, Mauricio G., 2009. "The optimal pricing of pollution when enforcement is costly," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 183-191, September.
  7. Arguedas, Carmen, 2007. "To Comply or Not To Comply? Pollution Standard Setting Under Costly Monitoring and Sanctioning," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2007/13, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  8. Stranlund, John K. & Moffitt, L. Joe, 2014. "Enforcement and price controls in emissions trading," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 20-38.
  9. Edilio Valentini & Edilio Valentini, 2008. "Enforcement and Environmental Quality in a Decentralized Emission Trading System," Working Papers 2008.97, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2011. "Optimal monitoring of credit-based emissions trading under asymmetric information," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/152, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

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