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Prices vs. Quantities with Fiscal Cushioning

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Abstract

Regulating international externalities, like climate change, raises various enforcement problems. It is often argued that international price-based regulations (e.g. emission taxes) are more difficult to enforce than quantity-based regulations (e.g. tradable pollution permits). In this paper, we analyze the relative performance of price-based and quantity-based instruments when costs and benefits are uncertain and enforcement of quantity regimes is stricter than that of price regimes. We show that under these conditions, instrument choice solely based on the relative slopes of the marginal curves can yield inefficient results. If policy enforcement differs, rational policy choice should also take into account the level of the marginal benefit curve, as well as institutional parameters. In contrast to earlier analyses on "Prices vs. Quantities", we find that the choice of instrument also depends on the variance of the marginal abatement costs. Numerical simulations of our stylized model suggest that, for climate policies, quantity-regulations might well be preferable to price-based approaches after all.

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Paper provided by IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich in its series IED Working paper with number 10-11.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ied:wpsied:10-11

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Keywords: market-based instruments; incomplete enforcement; uncertainty; environmental regulation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michele Baggio, 2012. "The Optimal Management of a Natural Resource with Switching Dynamics," IED Working paper 12-19, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  2. Julia Blasch & Mehdi Farsi, 2012. "Retail demand for voluntary carbon offsets - A choice experiment among Swiss consumers," IED Working paper 12-18, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  3. Di Falco, Salvatore & Veronesi, Marcella, 2011. "On Adaptation To Climate Change And Risk Exposure In The Nile Basin Of Ethiopia," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115549, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Di Falco, Salvatore & Veronesi, Marcella, 2012. "Managing Environmental Risk In Presence Of Climate Change: Evidence From Ethiopia," 126th Seminar, June 27-29, 2012, Capri, Italy 126010, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda & Renate Schubert, 2011. "Energy-Using Durables: The Role of Time Discounting in Investment Decisions," IED Working paper 11-16, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  6. Di Falco, Salvatore & Veronesi, Marcella, 2012. "Managing Environmental Risk in Presence of Climate Change: The Role of Adaptation in the Nile basin of Ethiopia," 86th Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2012, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 134775, Agricultural Economics Society.
  7. Markus Ohndorf, 2010. "Optimal Monitoring for project-based Emissions Trading Systems under incomplete Enforcement," IED Working paper 10-13, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  8. Thomas Bernauer & Lena Maria Schaffer, 2010. "Climate Change Governance," IED Working paper 10-12, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  9. Justin Caron & Markus Ohndorf, 2010. "Irreversibility and Optimal Timing of Climate Policy," IED Working paper 10-14, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.
  10. Ines Kapphan & Pierluigi Calanca & Annelie Holzkaemper, 2011. "Climate Change, Weather Insurance Design and Hedging Effectiveness," IED Working paper 11-17, IED Institute for Environmental Decisions, ETH Zurich.

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