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Making things the same: Gases, emission rights and the politics of carbon markets

  • MacKenzie, Donald
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    This paper analyses the development of carbon markets: markets in permits to emit greenhouse gases or in credits earned by not emitting them. It describes briefly how such markets have come into being, and discusses in more detail two aspects of the efforts to 'make things the same' in carbon markets: how different gases are made commensurable, and how accountants have struggled to find a standard treatment of 'emission rights'. The paper concludes by discussing the attitude that should be taken to carbon markets (for example by environmentalists) and the possibility of developing a 'politics of market design' oriented to making such markets more effective tools of abatement.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCK-4S9R1VH-1/2/d5b5ce565b6e61b4dc318fd513daf6af
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
    Pages: 440-455

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:3-4:p:440-455
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

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    1. Richard Newell & William Pizer & Jiangfeng Zhang, 2005. "Managing Permit Markets to Stabilize Prices," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 133-157, 06.
    2. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
    3. Cameron Hepburn, 2006. "Regulation by Prices, Quantities, or Both: A Review of Instrument Choice," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 226-247, Summer.
    4. Jørgen Wettestad, 2005. "The Making of the 2003 EU Emissions Trading Directive: An Ultra-Quick Process due to Entrepreneurial Proficiency?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, 02.
    5. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Loren Cass, 2005. "Norm Entrapment and Preference Change: The Evolution of the European Union Position on International Emissions Trading," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 5(2), pages 38-60, 05.
    8. J. H. Dales, 1968. "Land, Water, and Ownership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(4), pages 791-804, November.
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