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On the theory of a firm : The case of by-production of emissions

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  • Murty, Sushama

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

Five attributes of emission generating technologies are identified and a concept of byproduction is introduced, which implies these five attributes. Murty and Russell [2010] characterization of technologies, which requires distinguishing between intended production of firms and nature's laws of emission generation, is shown to be both necessary and sufficient for by-production. While intended production could be postulated to satisfy standard input and output free-disposability, these will necessarily be violated by nature's emission generation mechanism, which satisfies costly disposability of emission as defined in Murty [2010]. Marginal technical and economic costs of abatement are derived for technologies exhibiting by-production. A simple model of by-production illustrates that, while common abatement paths considered in the literature do involve a technological trade off between emission reduction and intended production, there also almost always exist abatement paths where it is possible to have both geater emission reductions and greater intended outputs. Further, marginal abatement costs will usually be decreasing in the initial level of emissions of firms. Counterintuitive as these results may sound in the rst instance, they are intuitively obvious in the by-production approach as it is rich enough to incorporate both standard economic assumptions with respect to intended production of firms and the rules of nature that govern emission generation.

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 934.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:934

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Keywords: theory of a firm ; technology ; input and output free-disposability ; diminishing returns to inputs ; joint production ; emission-generation ; marginal abatement cost;

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  1. Milleron, Jean-Claude, 1972. "Theory of value with public goods: A survey article," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 419-477, December.
  2. Murty, M.N. & Kumar, Surender, 2002. "Measuring the cost of environmentally sustainable industrial development in India: a distance function approach," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 467-486, July.
  3. Murty, Sushama & Russell, R. Robert, 2010. "On modeling pollution-generating technologies," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 931, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Noh, Dong-Woon & Weber, William, 2005. "Characteristics of a polluting technology: theory and practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 469-492, June.
  5. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
  6. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
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