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The Efficiency and Robustness of Allowance Banking in the U.S. Acid Rain Program

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  • A. Denny Ellerman
  • Juan-Pablo Montero

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical evaluation of the efficiency of allowance banking in the nationwide market for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission allowances that was created by the U.S. Acid Rain Program. We develop a model of efficient banking, select appropriate parameter values, and evaluate the efficiency of observed temporal pattern of abatement based on aggregate data from the first eight years of the Acid Rain Program. Contrary to the general opinion that banking in this program has been excessive, we find that it has been reasonably efficient. We also identify the erroneous assumptions underlying the earlier view and the conditions required for efficient banking to exist independently of changes in the counterfactual, an attribute we call robustness. These results show that firms use banking provisions in a rational and predictable way and that, at least in the US Acid Rain Program, there is no support for the often expressed concern that banked permits will be used all at once to create emissions spikes.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Denny Ellerman & Juan-Pablo Montero, 2007. "The Efficiency and Robustness of Allowance Banking in the U.S. Acid Rain Program," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 47-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2007v28-04-a03
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    Cited by:

    1. Leard, Benjamin & McConnell, Virginia, 2015. "New Markets for Pollution and Energy Efficiency: Credit Trading under Automobile Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Economy StandardsAbstract: Recent changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard," Discussion Papers dp-15-16, Resources For the Future.
    2. Matti Liski & Juan‐Pablo Montero, 2011. "Market Power in an Exhaustible Resource Market: The Case of Storable Pollution Permits," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 116-144, March.
    3. Evangelina Dardati & Julio Riutort, 2016. "Cap-and-Trade and Financial Constraints: Is Investment Independent of Permit Holdings?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(4), pages 841-864, December.
    4. Mohamed Amine Boutaba, 2009. "Investigating efficiency in the U.S sulfur dioxide permit market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1308-1319.
    5. Chan, H. Ron & Chupp, B. Andrew & Cropper, Maureen L. & Muller, Nicholas Z., 2018. "The impact of trading on the costs and benefits of the Acid Rain Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 180-209.
    6. Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "The Effect of Allowance Allocations on Cap-and-Trade System Performance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 267-294.
    7. Wirl, Franz, 2009. "Oligopoly meets oligopsony: The case of permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 329-337, November.
    8. Liski, Matti & Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2014. "Forward trading in exhaustible-resource oligopoly," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 122-146.
    9. Boutabba, Mohamed Amine & Beaumais, Olivier & Lardic, Sandrine, 2012. "Permit price dynamics in the U.S. SO2 trading program: A cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 714-722.
    10. Timilsina, Raja Rajendra & Kotani, Koji, 2017. "Evaluating the potential of marketable permits in a framed field experiment: Forest conservation in Nepal," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 25-37.
    11. Brink, Corjan & Vollebergh, Herman R.J. & van der Werf, Edwin, 2016. "Carbon pricing in the EU: Evaluation of different EU ETS reform options," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 603-617.
    12. Stranlund, John K. & Murphy, James J. & Spraggon, John M., 2011. "An experimental analysis of compliance in dynamic emissions markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 414-429.
    13. Richard Schmalensee & Robert N. Stavins, 2013. "The SO 2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a Grand Policy Experiment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 103-122, Winter.
    14. Stefan Trück & Rafał Weron, 2016. "Convenience Yields and Risk Premiums in the EU‐ETS—Evidence from the Kyoto Commitment Period," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(6), pages 587-611, June.
    15. Timilsina, Raja Rajendra & Kotani, Koji, 2017. "Evaluating the potential of marketable permits in a framed field experiment: Forest conservation in Nepal," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 25-37.
    16. Julien Chevallier, 2013. "Carbon trading: past, present and future," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 21, pages 471-489 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Raphaël Trotignon & Pierre-André Jouvet & Boris Solier & Simon Quemin & Jérémy Elbeze, 2015. "European carbon market: lessons on the impact of a market stability reserve using the Zephyr model," Working Papers 1511, Chaire Economie du climat.
    18. Benjamin Leard, 2013. "The Welfare Effects of Allowance Banking in Emissions Trading Programs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(2), pages 175-197, June.
    19. Färe, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Pasurka,, Carl A., 2013. "Tradable permits and unrealized gains from trade," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 416-424.
    20. Denny Ellerman & Vanessa Valero & Aleksandar Zaklan, 2015. "An Analysis of Allowance Banking in the EU ETS," RSCAS Working Papers 2015/29, European University Institute.
    21. Boleslavsky, Raphael & Kelly, David L., 2014. "Dynamic regulation design without payments: The importance of timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 169-180.
    22. Beat Hintermann, 2017. "Market Power in Emission Permit Markets: Theory and Evidence from the EU ETS," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 89-112, January.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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