Regulating a Polluting Oligopoly: Emission Tax or Voluntary Agreement?
This paper compares, in a polluting oligopoly, an emission tax and a form of environmental policy called voluntary agreement (VA). Here there are two ways of reducing pollution: output contraction and end-of-pipe abatement. Given the imperfect competition, firms' reaction to the tax is sub-optimal. They reduce output excessively in order to raise the price and do not abate enough. The VA is a take-it-or-leave-it contract on abatement effort, offered to the firms with the threat of a tax. It has a limited effect on output and always allows higher abatement than the tax. We find that this kind of VA may be more efficient than the tax in a concentrated industry, when pollution is not too harmful and when the abatement technology is rather efficient and cheap. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.
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Volume (Year): 9 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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