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The Effects of Penalty Design on Market Performance: Experimental Evidence from an Emissions Trading Scheme with Auctioned Permits

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  • Phillia Restiani

    (The School of Economics and Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at UNSW)

  • Regina Betz

    ()
    (Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM), School of Economics, Australian School of Business, University of NSW)

Abstract

This paper investigates the behavioural implications of penalty designs on market performance using an experimental method. Three penalty types and two penalty levels are enforced in a laboratory permit market with auctioning, including the Australian Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme proposed design of tying the penalty rate to the auction price. Compliance strategies are limited to undertaking irreversible abatement investment decisions or buying permits. We aim to assess how penalty design under the presence of subjects‟ risk preferences might affect compliance incentives, permit price discovery, and efficiency. In contrast to theory, we find that penalty levels serve as a focal point that indicates compliance costs and affects compliance strategies. The make-good provision penalty provides stronger compliance incentives than the other penalty types. However, the theory holds with regard to permit price discovery, as we find no evidence of the effect of penalty design on auction price. Interestingly, risk preference does not directly affect compliance decision, but it does influence price discovery, which evidently is a significant factor in compliance decisions as well as efficiency. Most importantly, a trade-off between investment incentives and efficiency is observed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports with number 1087.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:een:eenhrr:1087

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Cited by:
  1. He, Haoran & Chen, Yefeng & Last Name, First Name, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms for Allocating Subsidies for Carbon Emissions Reduction: An Experimental Investigation," Discussion Papers dp-14-06-efd, Resources For the Future.

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