Average shadow price and equilibrium price: A case study of tradable pollution permit markets
Shadow prices indicate implicit values of limited resources at the margin and provide important information in decision making for resource management. In continuous economic models, shadow prices associated with demand-supply balance constraints represent consumers' willingness to pay and producers' marginal cost, hence they correspond to market equilibrium prices. As well known, however, marginal analysis fails in the case of discrete optimization, such as mixed integer programming. An alternative concept has been introduced in the literature to measure the value of an extra unit of a limited resource in such cases. This concept is based on average rather than marginal values, thus called the average shadow price, and interpreted in the same way as conventional shadow prices. Whether average shadow prices in a discrete economic model can serve as market equilibrium prices has not been addressed in the related literature. The present paper addresses this issue in an empirical setting. Using a tradable pollution permit market as an example, where firms' YES/NO type technology adoption decisions are represented by binary variables, we show that the average shadow price of tradable permits can be interpreted as the equilibrium price only when certain conditions related to the cost structure and emission levels hold. On the other hand, we show that an iterative procedure based on individual firms' cost minimizing behavior presents a better approach for finding a price that can eliminate or reduce the gap between demand and supply of permits in the market.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:196:y:2009:i:3:p:1207-1213. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.