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Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices

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  • Pizer, William

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Newell, Richard

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Zhang, Jiangfeng

Abstract

The political economy of environmental policy favors the use of quantity-based instruments over price-based instruments (e.g., tradable permits over green taxes), at least in the United States. With cost uncertainty, however, there are clear efficiency advantages to prices in many cases, especially for stock pollutants such as greenhouse gases. The question arises, therefore, of whether one can design flexible quantity policies that mimic the behavior of price policies, namely stable permit prices and abatement costs. We explore a number of “quantity-plus” policies that replicate the behavior of a price policy through rules that adjust the effective permit cap for unexpectedly low or high costs. They do so without necessitating any monetary exchanges between the government and the regulated firms, which can be a significant political barrier to the use of price instruments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-34.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-34

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Keywords: permit market; prices; quantities; banking; borrowing; uncertainty;

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  1. Yates, Andrew J. & Cronshaw, Mark B., 2001. "Pollution Permit Markets with Intertemporal Trading and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 104-118, July.
  2. Michael Hoel & Larry Karp, 1999. "Taxes and Quotas for a Stock Pollutant with Multiplicative Uncertainty," Working Papers 1999.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Rubin, Jonathan D. & Kling, Catherine, 1993. "An Emission Saved is an Emission Earned: An Empirical Study of Emission Banking for Light-Duty Vehicle Manufacturers," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3rb1472g, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Roberton Williams, 2002. "Prices vs. Quantities vs. Tradable Quantities," NBER Working Papers 9283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kling, Catherine L. & Rubin, Jonathan, 1997. "Bankable Permits for the Control of Environmental Pollution," Staff General Research Papers 1479, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Warwick J. McKibbin & Martin T. Ross & Robert Shackleton & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 1999. "Emissions Trading, Capital Flows and the Kyoto Protocol," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 9901, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  7. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
  8. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  9. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  10. Daniel Phaneuf & Till Requate, 2002. "Incentives for Investment in Advanced Pollution Abatement Technology in Emission Permit Markets with Banking," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(3), pages 369-390, July.
  11. Cronshaw, Mark B & Brown-Kruse, Jamie, 1996. "Regulated Firms in Pollution Permit Markets with Banking," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-89, March.
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