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Allowing for household preferences in emission trading-A contribution to the climate policy debate

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In the context of emission trading it seems to be taken as given that people's preferences can be ignored with respect to the whole process of fixing emission targets and allocating emission permits to polluters. With this paper we want to reopen the debate on how citizens can be involved in this process. We try to show how citizen preferences can be included in the process of pollution control through emission trading. We propose an emission trading system where all emission permits are initially allocated to households who are then allowed to sell them in the permit market or to withhold (at least some of) them in order to reduce total pollution. This proposal tries to overcome the fundamental disadvantage of traditional permit systems which neglect consumer preferences by solely distributing emission permits to producers / polluters. In our system the property right to nature is re-allocated to the households who obtain the opportunity of reducing actual emissions according to their personal preferences by withholding a part or all of the emission permits allotted to them. Such a change in environmental policy would mark a return to the traditional principles of consumer sovereignty by involving households (at least partially) in the social abatement decision process instead of excluding them. Another advantage of admitting households to the TEP market as sellers or buyers of permits is that this increases the number of agents in the permit market and thus significantly reduces the possibilities of strategic market manipulations.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2000-09.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2000_09

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Keywords: Environmental policy; tradable emission permits; climate policy; consumer sovereignty;

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References

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  1. Kerr, Suzi & Cramton, Peter, 1998. "Tradable Carbon Permit Auctions: How and Why to Auction Not Grandfather," Discussion Papers dp-98-34, Resources For the Future.
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  7. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2000. "Optimal design of a phase-in emissions trading program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 273-291, February.
  9. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
  10. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
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  12. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  13. Ackerman, Frank & Biewald, Bruce & White, David & Woolf, Tim & Moomaw, William, 1999. "Grandfathering and coal plant emissions: the cost of cleaning up the Clean Air Act," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(15), pages 929-940, December.
  14. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  16. Tietenberg, Tom, 1998. "Ethical influences on the evolution of the US tradable permit approach to air pollution control," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 241-257, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Wadud, Zia, 2011. "Personal tradable carbon permits for road transport: Why, why not and who wins?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1052-1065.
  2. Smith, Stefani C. & Yates, Andrew J., 2003. "Optimal pollution permit endowments in markets with endogenous emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 425-445, November.
  3. Menges, Roland, 2003. "Supporting renewable energy on liberalised markets: green electricity between additionality and consumer sovereignty," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 583-596, June.
  4. Bristow, Abigail L. & Wardman, Mark & Zanni, Alberto M. & Chintakayala, Phani K., 2010. "Public acceptability of personal carbon trading and carbon tax," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1824-1837, July.
  5. Diana Piloyan, 2009. "The Clean Development Mechanism: Mexico’s Contribution to the Mitigation of Global Climate Change," Working Papers 0309, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:17:y:2007:i:4:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Malueg, David A. & Yates, Andrew J., 2006. "Citizen participation in pollution permit markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 205-217, March.
  8. Asproudis, Elias & Weyman-Jones, Tom, 2011. "Third parties �participation in tradable permits market. Do we need them?," MPRA Paper 28766, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Dafna Eshel & Richard Sexton, 2009. "Allowing communities to trade in imperfectly competitive pollution-permit markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 60-82, August.

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