A Safety Valve for Emissions Trading
AbstractThis paper considers the optimal design of an emissions trading program that includes a safety valve tax that allows pollution sources to escape the emissions cap imposed by the aggregate supply of emissions permits. I demonstrate that an optimal hybrid emissions trading/emissions tax policy involves a permit supply that is strictly less than under a pure emissions trading scheme and a safety valve tax that exceeds the optimal pure emissions tax as long as expected marginal damage is an increasing function. While the expected level of emissions under a hybrid policy may be more or less than under pure emissions trading or a pure emissions tax, under the assumption that uncertainty about aggregate marginal abatement costs is symmetric the most likely outcome is that emissions will turn out to be less under the hybrid. Finally, a steeper expected marginal damage function calls for higher permit supply and safety valve, which reduces expected aggregate emissions and the probability that the safety valve will be employed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-4.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Emissions Taxes; Emissions Trading; Uncertainty; Safety Valve; Hybrid Emissions Control;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2010-04-17 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2010-04-17 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-REG-2010-04-17 (Regulation)
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