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The Efficiency of Voluntary Pollution Abatement when Countries can Commit

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Author Info

  • Robin Boadway

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Zhen Song

    ()
    (Central University of Economics and Finance, Beijing)

  • Jean-Francois Tremblay

    ()
    (University of Ottawa)

Abstract

In this paper, we characterize a mechanism for reducing pollution emissions in which countries, acting non-cooperatively, commit to match each others' abatement levels and may subsequently engage in emissions quota trading. The analysis shows that the mechanism leads to efficient outcomes. The level of emissions is efficient, and if the matching abatements process includes a quota trading stage, the marginal benefits of emissions are also equalized across countries. Given the equilibrium matching rates, the initial allocation of emission quotas (before trading) reflects each country's marginal valuation for lower pollution relative to its marginal benefit from emissions. These results hold for any number of countries, in an environment where countries have different abatement technologies and different benefits from emissions, and even if the emissions of countries are imperfect substitutes in each country's damage function. In a dynamic two-period setting, the mechanism achieves both intra-temporal and inter-temporal efficiency. We extend the model by assuming that countries are voluntarily contributing to an international public good, in addition to undertaking pollution abatements, and find that the level of emissions may be efficient even without any matching abatement commitments, and the marginal benefits of emissions may be equalized across countries even without quota trading.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1205.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1205.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1205

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Keywords: voluntary pollution abatement; matching commitments; emissions quota trading;

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References

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  1. Anke Gerber & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2008. "Providing Public Goods in the Absence of Strong Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 303, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Gersbach, Hans & Winkler, Ralph, 2007. "On the Design of Global Refunding and Climate Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 6379, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robin Boadway & Zhen Song & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2006. "Commitment and Matching Contributions to Public Goods," Working Papers 1067, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher & Dirk T. G. Rübbelke & Eytan Sheshinski, 2010. "Environmental Protection and the Private Provision of International Public Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 775-784, October.
  5. Shilony, Yuval, 2000. "Diversity and ingenuity in voluntary collective action," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 429-443, September.
  6. Yukihiro Nishimura, 2008. "A Lindahl Solution to International Emissions Trading," Working Papers 1177, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Guttman, Joel M, 1978. "Understanding Collective Action: Matching Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 251-55, May.
  8. Danziger, Leif & Schnytzer, Adi, 1991. "Implementing the Lindahl voluntary-exchange mechanism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 55-64, April.
  9. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  10. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wolfgang Buchholz & Richard Cornes & Dirk Rübbelke, 2012. "Potentially Harmful International Cooperation on Global Public Good Provision," CESifo Working Paper Series 3891, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Olivier Bos & Béatrice Roussillon & Paul Schweinzer, 2013. "Agreeing on Efficient Emissions Reduction," CESifo Working Paper Series 4345, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Boadway, Robin & Song, Zhen & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2013. "Non-cooperative pollution control in an inter-jurisdictional setting," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 783-796.
  4. Guttman, Joel M., 2013. "On the evolution of conditional cooperation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 15-34.
  5. Buchholz, Wolfgang & Cornes, Richard & Rübbelke, Dirk, 2011. "Interior matching equilibria in a public good economy: An aggregative game approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 639-645, August.
  6. Martin Altemeyer-Bartscher & Anil Markandya & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2011. "The Private Provision of International Impure Public Goods: the Case of Climate Policy," Working Papers 2011-09, BC3.

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