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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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  1. Macho-Stadler, Ines & Perez-Castrillo, David, 2006. "Optimal enforcement policy and firms' emissions and compliance with environmental taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 110-131, January.
  2. Hatcher, Aaron, 2005. "Non-compliance and the quota price in an ITQ fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 427-436, May.
  3. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Carolos Chavez & John Stanlund, 2003. "Enforcing Transferable Permit Systems in the Presence of Market Power," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(1), pages 65-78, May.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1993. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," NBER Working Papers 3429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Montero, Juan-Pablo & Sanchez, Jose Miguel & Katz, Ricardo, 2002. "A Market-Based Environmental Policy Experiment in Chile," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 267-87, April.
  10. 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.
  11. Garvie, Devon & Keeler, Andrew, 1994. "Incomplete enforcement with endogenous regulatory choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 141-162, September.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Carmen Arguedas & Hamid Hamoudi, 2004. "Controlling Pollution with Relaxed Regulations," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 85-104, 07.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carmen Arguedas, 2013. "Pollution standards, technology investment and fines for non-compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 156-176, October.
  2. 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.
  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. Arguedas, Carmen & Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "A note on the complementarity of uniform emission standards and monitoring strategies," Working Papers 2009/12, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  5. 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.
  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. Ian MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2012. "Optimal monitoring of credit-based emissions trading under asymmetric information," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 180-203, October.
  8. Carmen Arguedas, 2008. "To Comply or Not To Comply? Pollution Standard Setting Under Costly Monitoring and Sanctioning," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 155-168, October.
  9. Edilio Valentini & Edilio Valentini, 2008. "Enforcement and Environmental Quality in a Decentralized Emission Trading System," Working Papers 2008.97, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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