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Does environmental regulation create merger incentives?

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  • Creti, Anna
  • Sanin, María-Eugenia

Abstract

This paper studies merger incentives for polluting Cournot firms under a competitive tradable emission permits market. We find that when firms are symmetric and marginal costs are constant, an horizontal merger is welfare enhancing if efficiency gains are high enough for the merger to take place. The presence of a competitive (or monopolistic) outside market that also trades in the permits market makes profitable a merger that would not happen otherwise. When firms are vertically related in an input-output chain, an horizontal merger in one of the markets increases profits in the other market due to the permits price decrease. Finally we consider an oligopoly-fringe model in which firms differ in their marginal production costs. A merger between the dominant oligopolistic firms decreases the permits price and is always profitable. Such setting is relevant to assess the observed mergers between power generators in several market for permits, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), allowing us to derive some policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Creti, Anna & Sanin, María-Eugenia, 2017. "Does environmental regulation create merger incentives?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 618-630.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:618-630
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.01.057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eftichios Sartzetakis, 2004. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Markets for Emission Permits," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(1), pages 1-19, January.
    2. Canton, Joan & David, Maia & Sinclair-Desgagné, Bernard, 2012. "Environmental Regulation and Horizontal Mergers in the Eco-industry," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 107-132, July.
    3. Jean Gabszewicz & Didier Laussel & Tanguy Ypersele & Skerdilajda Zanaj, 2013. "Market Games in Successive Oligopolies," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(3), pages 397-410, June.
    4. Eftichios Sartzetakis, 1997. "Tradeable emission permits regulations in the presence of imperfectly competitive product markets: Welfare implications," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(1), pages 65-81, January.
    5. Joseph Farrell and Carl Shapiro., 2000. "Scale Economies and Synergies in Horizontal Merger Analysis," Economics Working Papers E00-291, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Hennessy, David A. & Roosen, Jutta, 1999. "Stochastic Pollution, Permits, and Merger Incentives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 211-232, May.
    7. Giuseppe De Feo & Joana Resende & María Eugenia Sanin, 2013. "Emission Permits Trading And Downstream Strategic Market Interaction," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(5), pages 780-802, September.
    8. Stephen W. Salant & Sheldon Switzer & Robert J. Reynolds, 1983. "Losses From Horizontal Merger: The Effects of an Exogenous Change in Industry Structure on Cournot-Nash Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(2), pages 185-199.
    9. María-Eugenia Sanin & Skerdilajda Zanaj, 2011. "A Note on Clean Technology Adoption and its Influence on Tradeable Emission Permits Prices," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(4), pages 561-567, April.
    10. Myles, G. D., 1987. "Tax design in the presence of imperfect competition : An example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 367-378, December.
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    12. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mergers; Environmental externality; Tradable emission permits; Social welfare; Cournot competition;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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