Should we tax or let firms trade emissons? An experimental analysis with policy implications for developing countries
AbstractIn this paper we use laboratory experiments to test the theoretical predictions derived by Villegas-Palacio and Coria (2010) about the effects of the interaction between technology adoption and incomplete enforcement. They show that under Tradable Emissions Permits (TEPs), and in contrast to taxes, the fall in permit price produced by adoption of environmentally friendly technologies reduces the benefits of violating the environmental regulation at the margin and leads firms to improve their compliance behavior. Moreover, when TEPs are used, the regulator can speed up the diffusion of new technologies since the benefits from adopting the new technology increase with the enforcement stringency. Our experimental results confirm these theoretical predictions. While the aggregate emissions do not statistically differ between the two policy instruments, the fraction of firms violating the regulation and the aggregate extent of violation are lower under TEPs than under emission taxes regardless of the monitoring probability. Hence, in contrast to previous studies, our results indicate that TEPs would appear to be a feasible policy alternative in weak regulatory contexts.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 516.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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laboratory experiments; emission taxes; auctioned tradable emissions permits; imperfect monitoring; technology adoption; developing countries;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- 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
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