Should We Be Worried About the Green Paradox? Announcement Effects of the Acid Rain Program
AbstractThis paper presents the first empirical test of the green paradox hypothesis, according to which well-intended but imperfectly implemented policies may lead to detrimental environmental outcomes due to supply side responses. We use the introduction of the Acid Rain Program in the U.S. as a case study. The theory predicts that owners of coal deposits, expecting future sales to decline, would supply more of their resource between the announcement of the Acid Rain Program and its implementation; moreover, the incentive to increase supply would be stronger for owners of high-sulfur coal. This would, all else equal, induce an increase in sulfur dioxide emissions. Using data on prices, heat input and sulfur content of coal delivered to U.S. power plants, we find strong evidence of a price decrease, some indication that the amount of coal used might have increased, and no evidence that the announcement of the Acid Rain Program led the use of higher sulfur coal. Overall, our evidence suggests that while the mechanism indicated by the theory might be at work, market conditions and concurrent regulation prevented a green paradox from arising. These results have implications for the design of climate policies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2012.49.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Green Paradox; Implementation Lags; Announcement Effects; Climate Policy; Acid Rain Policy;
Other versions of this item:
- Di Maria, Corrado & Lange, Ian & van der Werf, Edwin, 2014. "Should we be worried about the green paradox? Announcement effects of the Acid Rain Program," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 143-162.
- Corrado Di Maria & Ian A. Lange & Edwin van der Werf, 2012. "Should we be Worried about the Green Paradox? Announcement Effects of the Acid Rain Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 3829, CESifo Group Munich.
- Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
- Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- 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-ALL-2012-07-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-07-23 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-07-23 (Environmental Economics)
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