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An Experimental Analysis of Auctioning Emissions Allowances under a Loose Cap

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Author Info

  • Shobe, William
  • Palmer, Karen

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Myers, Erica
  • Holt, Charles
  • Goeree, Jacob
  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

The direct sale of emissions allowances by auction is an emerging characteristic of cap-and-trade programs. This study is motivated by the observation that all of the major implementations of cap-and-trade regulations for the control of air pollution have started with a generous allocation of allowances relative to recent emissions history, a situation we refer to as a “loose cap.” Typically more stringent reductions are achieved in subsequent years of a program. We use an experimental setting to investigate the effects of a loose cap environment on a variety of auction types. We find all auction formats studied are efficient in allocating emissions allowances, but auction revenues tend to be lower relative to competitive benchmarks when the cap is loose. Regardless of whether the cap is tight or loose, the different auction formats tend to yield comparable revenues toward the end of a series of auctions. However, aggressive bidding behavior in initial discriminatory auctions yields higher revenues than in other auction formats, a difference that disappears as bidders learn to adjust their bids closer to the cutoff that separates winning and losing bids.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-09-25.

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Date of creation: 26 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-25

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Related research

Keywords: auction; carbon dioxide; greenhouse gases; allowance trading; Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; RGGI; cap and trade;

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References

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  1. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Krupnick, Alan & Evans, David & Toth, Russell, 2005. "Economics of Pollution Trading for SO2 and NOx," Discussion Papers dp-05-05, Resources For the Future.
  3. Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Shobe, William & Smith, Vernon & Winn, Abel, 2009. "The design, testing and implementation of Virginia's NOx allowance auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 190-200, February.
  4. Charles A. Holt & William Shobe & Dallas Burtraw & Karen Palmer & Jacob K. Goeree, 2007. "Auction Design for Selling CO2 Emission Allowances Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Reports 2007-03, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
  5. Kerr, Suzi & Newell, Richard, 2001. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Discussion Papers dp-01-14, Resources For the Future.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kent D. Messer & James J. Murphy, 2010. "Foreword: Special Issue on Experimental Methods in Environmental, Natural Resource and Agricultural Economics," Working Papers 2010-03, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  2. He, Haoran & Chen, Yefeng & Last Name, First Name, 2014. "Auction Mechanisms for Allocating Subsidies for Carbon Emissions Reduction: An Experimental Investigation," Discussion Papers dp-14-06-efd, Resources For the Future.
  3. Regina Betz & Ben Greiner & Sascha Schweitzer & Stefan Seifert, 2014. "Auction Format and Auction Sequence in Multi-Item Multi-Unit Auctions - An experimental study," Discussion Papers 2014-31, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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