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Environmental Policy à la Carte: Letting Firms Choose their Regulation

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  • Frank C. Krysiak

    ()

  • Iris Maria Oberauner

    ()
    (University of Basel)

Abstract

Environmental policy often has to be devised under informational constraints, like uncertainty and asymmetric information. We consider an environmental policy that aims at reducing the welfare losses caused by asymmetric information while being sufficiently simple for implementation. In this policy, firms can choose between being regulated with an emission tax or a permit market. This serves as a screening device; the firms reveal private information by choosing an instrument. We show that such a menu of policy options improves upon conventional environmental policy. Furthermore, the optimal policy is simple and thus easily implementable. The approach is also theoretically interesting, because the simultaneous use of price- and quantity-based instruments induces an asymmetry into the pricesversus- quantities decision compared to Weitzman’s criterion. Especially, there can be an optimal pooling equilibrium where all firms choose the tax, but it is never optimal that all firms participate in permit trading.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2008/03.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2008/03

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Related research

Keywords: Environmental Policy; Asymmetric Information; Screening; Uncertainty; Prices-versus-Quantities;

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References

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  1. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2000. "Optimal design of a phase-in emissions trading program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 273-291, February.
  2. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  3. Roberton Williams, 2002. "Prices vs. Quantities vs. Tradable Quantities," NBER Working Papers 9283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  5. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  6. Frank Krysiak, 2008. "Ex-post efficient permit markets: a detailed analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(4), pages 397-410, April.
  7. Stephen Smith & Joseph Swierzbinski, 2007. "Assessing the performance of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 131-158, May.
  8. Kwerel, Evan, 1977. "To Tell the Truth: Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 595-601, October.
  9. Livernois, J. & Karp, L., 1992. "Using Automatic Tax Changes to Control Pollution Emissions," Working Papers 1992-12, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  10. Richard Newell & William Pizer & Jiangfeng Zhang, 2005. "Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 133-157, 06.
  11. Unold, Wolfram & Requate, Till, 2001. "Pollution control by options trading," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 353-358, December.
  12. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "On Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 857-60, October.
  13. Robert A. Collinge & Wallace E. Oates, 1982. "Efficiency in Pollution Control in the Short and Long Runs: A System of Rental Emission Permits," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(2), pages 347-54, May.
  14. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  15. John G. Riley, 2001. "Silver Signals: Twenty-Five Years of Screening and Signaling," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 432-478, June.
  16. Mandell, Svante, 2008. "Optimal mix of emissions taxes and cap-and-trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 131-140, September.
  17. Moledina, Amyaz A. & Coggins, Jay S. & Polasky, Stephen & Costello, Christopher, 2003. "Dynamic environmental policy with strategic firms: prices versus quantities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 356-376, March.
  18. Collinge, Robert A. & Bailey, Martin J., 1983. "Optimal quasi-market choice in the presence of pollution externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 221-232, September.
  19. Krysiak, Frank C., 2008. "Prices vs. quantities: The effects on technology choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1275-1287, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Wood, Peter J. & Heindl, Peter & Jotzo, Frank & Löschel, Andreas, 2013. "Linking price and quantity pollution controls under uncertainty," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-025, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Halvor Briseid Storrøsten, 2012. "Prices vs. quantities: Technology choice, uncertainty and welfare," Discussion Papers 677, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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