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Market Power in Tradable Emission Markets: A Laboratory Testbed for Emission Trading in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria

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  • Cason, Timothy N.
  • Gangadharan, Lata
  • Duke, Charlotte

Abstract

In theory, competitive emission permit markets minimise total abatement cost for any emission ceiling. Permit markets are often imperfectly competitive, however, if they are thin and dominated by large firms. The dominant firm(s) could exercise market power and increase other firms’ costs of pollution control, while reducing their own emission control costs. This paper reports a testbed laboratory experiment to examine whether a dominant firm can exercise market power in a permit market organised using the double auction trading institution. Our parameters approximate the abatement costs of sources in a proposed tradable emissions market for the reduction of nitrogen in the Port Phillip Watershed in Victoria, Australia. We vary across treatments the initial (pre-trade) allocation of permits to sources, so that in one treatment the seller of permits is a monopolist and in another treatment the selling side of the market is duopolistic. We also vary the information that subjects have about the number and abatement costs of their competitors. We find that prices and seller profits are higher and efficiency is lower on average in the monopoly sessions compared to the duopoly sessions, but the differences are not substantial and are not statistically significant due to pronounced variation across sessions. Moreover, prices, profits and transaction volumes are usually much closer to the competitive equilibrium than the monopoly equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia with number 57841.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aare03:57841

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Keywords: Market Power; Emission Permits; Experiments; Environmental Regulation; Environmental Economics and Policy; C91; Q25; Q28;

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  1. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
  2. Ledyard, John O. & Szakaly, Kristin E., . "Designing Organizations for Trading Pollution Rights," Working Papers 838, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Morten Søberg, 2000. "Imperfect competition, sequential auctions, and emissions trading: An experimental evaluation," Discussion Papers 280, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  4. Maloney, Michael T. & Yandle, Bruce, 1984. "Estimation of the cost of air pollution control regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 244-263, September.
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  6. Andrew Muller, R. & Mestelman, Stuart & Spraggon, John & Godby, Rob, 2002. "Can Double Auctions Control Monopoly and Monopsony Power in Emissions Trading Markets?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 70-92, July.
  7. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Plott, Charles R., . "Asset Valuation in an Experimental Market," Working Papers 299, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Van Boening, Mark V & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1996. "Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 461-77, June.
  9. Friedman, Daniel & Harrison, Glenn W & Salmon, Jon W, 1984. "The Informational Efficiency of Experimental Asset Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 349-408, June.
  10. Hahn, Robert W, 1984. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 753-65, November.
  11. Jamie Brown-Kruse & Steven R Elliot & Rob Godby, 1995. "Strategic Manipulation of Pollution Permit Markets: An Experimental Approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-03, McMaster University.
  12. Isaac, R. Mark & Ramey, Valerie & Williams, Arlington W., 1984. "The effects of market organization on conspiracies in restraint of trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 191-222, June.
  13. Bohm, Peter & Carlen, Bjorn, 1999. "Emission quota trade among the few: laboratory evidence of joint implementation among committed countries," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-66, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Duke, Charlotte & Gangadharan, Lata, 2008. "Salinity in water markets: An experimental investigation of the Sunraysia Salinity Levy in Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 486-503, December.
  2. Douglas D. Davis & Korenok Oleg & Edward S. Prescott, 2011. "An Experimental Analysis of Contingent Capital with Market-Price Triggers," Working Papers 1102, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
  3. Oczkowski, Edward, 2008. "Excess Demand, Market Power and Price Adjustment in Clearinghouse Auction Markets for Water," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(2), pages 261-276, September.
  4. Tisdell, John, 2007. "Bringing biophysical models into the economic laboratory: An experimental analysis of sediment trading in Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 584-595, January.
  5. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2006. "Subject Pool Effects in a Corruption Experiment: A Comparison of Indonesian Public Servants and Indonesian Students," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 975, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Tisdell, John G. & Grainger, Corinne, 2008. "An Experimental Economic Analysis of Carbon Trading Options for Australia," 2008 Conference, August 28-29, 2008, Nelson, New Zealand 96661, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  7. Huang, Ming-Yuan & Alavalapati, Janaki R.R. & Carter, Douglas R. & Langholtz, Matthew H., 2007. "Is the choice of renewable portfolio standards random?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5571-5575, November.
  8. Jaehn, Florian & Letmathe, Peter, 2010. "The emissions trading paradox," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 202(1), pages 248-254, April.
  9. Ghosh, Gaurav & Kwasnica, Anthony & Shortle, James, 2010. "A Laboratory Experiment to Compare Two Market Institutions for Emissions Trading," FCN Working Papers 18/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  10. C. Duke & L. Gangadharan, 2005. "Salinity in Water Markets : An ExperimentalInvestigation of the Sunraysia Salinity Levy, Victoria," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 950, The University of Melbourne.
  11. Bodo Sturm, 2008. "Market Power in Emissions Trading Markets Ruled by a Multiple Unit Double Auction: Further Experimental Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 467-487, August.
  12. Requate, Till, 2005. "Environmental Policy under Imperfect Competition : A Survey," Economics Working Papers 2005,12, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  13. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2006. "Experiments in Environmental Economics and Some Close Relatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 419-457, 07.
  14. Arthur Caplan, 2008. "Incremental and Average Control Costs in a Model of Water Quality Trading with Discrete Abatement Units," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 419-435, November.
  15. Antelo, Manel & Bru, Lluís, 2009. "Permit markets, market power, and the trade-off between efficiency and revenue raising," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 320-333, November.

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