Price-Based vs. Quantity-Based Environmental Regulation under Knightian Uncertainty: An Info-Gap Robust Satisficing Perspective
AbstractConventional wisdom among environmental economists is that the relative slopes of the marginal social benefit and marginal social cost functions determine whether a price-based or quantity-based environmental regulation leads to higher expected social welfare. We revisit the choice between price-based vs. quantity-based environmental regulation under Knightian uncertainty; that is, when uncertainty cannot be modeled with known probability distributions. Under these circumstances, the policy objective cannot be to maximize the expected net benefits of emissions control. Instead, we evaluate an emissions tax and an aggregate abatement standard in terms of maximizing the range of uncertainty under which the welfare loss from error in the estimates of the marginal benefits and costs of emissions control can be limited. The main result of our work is that the same criterion involving the relative slopes of the marginal benefit and cost functions determines whether price-based or quantity-based control is more robust to unstructured uncertainty. Hence, not only does the relative slopes criterion lead to the policy that maximizes the expected net benefits of control under structured uncertainty, it also leads to the policy that maximizes robustness to unstructured uncertainty.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006-1.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
emissions control; environmental regulation; info-gap; Knightian uncertainty; robustness; satisficing;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2006-10-14 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2006-10-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2006-10-14 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2006-10-14 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-REG-2006-10-14 (Regulation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2002.
"Taxes versus quotas for a stock pollutant,"
Resource and Energy Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 367-384, November.
- Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2001. "Taxes versus Quotas for a Stock Pollutant," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5fx9p7kf, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Laffont, Jean Jacques, 1977. "More on Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 177-82, February.
- Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1973.
"Prices vs. Quantities,"
106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
- Philippe Quirion, 2004.
"Prices versus Quantities in a Second-Best Setting,"
Environmental & Resource Economics,
European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 337-359, November.
- L. Joe Moffitt & John K. Stranlund & Barry C. Field, 2005. "Inspections To Avert Terrorism: Robustness Under Severe Uncertainty," Working Papers 2005-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
- Malcomson, James M, 1978. "Prices vs. Quantities: A Critical Note on the Use of Approximations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 203-07, February.
- Clara Villegas-Palacio & Jessica Coria, 2010. "On the interaction between imperfect compliance and technology adoption: taxes versus tradable emissions permits," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 274-291, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eileen Keegan).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.