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Prices vs. quantities: Public finance and the choice of regulatory instruments

  • Baldursson, Fridrik M.
  • von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik M.

Since Montgomery [1972. Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs. Journal of Economic Theory 5, 395-418] and Weitzman [1974. Prices vs. quantities. Review of Economic Studies 41, 477-491], it has generally been assumed that, in a full-information setting, tradable quotas and taxes are equivalent regulatory instruments. We demonstrate that, if the government is movitated by public-finance concerns, this equivalence holds only if quotas are short lived. Moreover, the government prefers quotas with the shortest possible lifetime, or, what is equivalent in our setting, taxes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Pages: 1242-1255

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:7:p:1242-1255
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Bovenberg, A.L. & de Mooij, R.A., 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Other publications TiSEM 4b32deaa-ec2f-4de7-b59b-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Stavins, Robert N., 2003. "Experience with market-based environmental policy instruments," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 355-435 Elsevier.
  3. Hepburn, C. & Grubb, M. & Neuhoff, K. & Matthes , F. & Tse, M., 2006. "Auctioning of EU ETS Phase II allowances: how and why?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0644, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Oates, Wallace E. & Portney, Paul R., 2003. "The political economy of environmental policy," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 325-354 Elsevier.
  5. Loeb, Martin & Magat, Wesley A, 1979. "A Decentralized Method for Utility Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 399-404, October.
  6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  7. Amundsen, Eirik S. & Baldursson, Fridrik M. & Mortensen, Jørgen Birk, 2003. "Price Volatility and Banking in Green Certificate Markets," Working Papers in Economics 02/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  8. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521311120 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," NBER Working Papers 6464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fridrik M. Baldursson & Nils-Henrik M. von der Fehr, 2007. "A Whiter Shade of Pale: A Whiter Shade of Pale: On the Political Economy of Regulatory Instruments," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 37-65, 03.
  13. Faruk Gul & Hugo Sonnenschein & Robert Wilson, 2010. "Foundations of Dynamic Monopoly and the Coase Conjecture," Levine's Working Paper Archive 232, David K. Levine.
  14. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
  15. Hoel, Michael, 1998. " Emission Taxes versus Other Environmental Policies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 79-104, March.
  16. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521322249 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
  20. Von Der Fehr, N.H.M. & Kuhn, K.U., 1992. "Coase vs. Pacman: Who Eats Whom in the Durable Goods Monopoly?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 178.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  21. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
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