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A Whiter Shade of Pale: on the Political Economy of Regulatory Instruments

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  • Baldursson, Fridrik M

    ()
    (University of Iceland)

  • von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik M

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

We consider an intertemporal policy game between changing governments that differ in their attitudes towards a particular feature of market outcomes, exemplified with environmental pollution. When in power, a government will choose policy instruments and set strictness of regulation with a view to influencing the policy of future, possibly different, governments. We demonstrate that a ‘brown’ government favours emission quotas over effluent taxes, as quotas establish property rights that are costly to reverse. Conversely, a ‘green’ government prefers to regulate by taxes, in order to limit the incentives of future ‘brown’ governments to ease regulations. Strategic behaviour tends to exaggerate policy differences (making ‘green’ governments ‘greener’ and ‘brown’ governments ‘browner’) compared to when such strategic considerations were not an issue.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2004/Memo-29-2004.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 29/2004.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 04 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2004_029

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: regulation; political economy; effluent taxes; tradable quotas; property rights; commitment; environmental management;

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References

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  1. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
  3. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  6. Adar, Zvi & Griffin, James M., 1976. "Uncertainty and the choice of pollution control instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 178-188, October.
  7. Von Der Fehr, N.H.M. & Kuhn, K.U., 1992. "Coase vs. Pacman: Who Eats Whom in the Durable Goods Monopoly?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 178.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  9. Hoel, Michael, 1998. " Emission Taxes versus Other Environmental Policies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 79-104, March.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative Would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-45, May.
  11. Fishelson, Gideon, 1976. "Emission control policies under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-197, October.
  12. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Xavier Vives, 2009. "Strategic complementarity in multi-stage games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 151-171, July.
  2. Kiuila, O. & Rutherford, T.F., 2013. "The cost of reducing CO2 emissions: Integrating abatement technologies into economic modeling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 62-71.

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