A symmetric safety valve
How to set policy in the presence of uncertainty has been central in debates over climate policy. Concern about costs has motivated the proposal for a cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide, with a "safety valve" that would mitigate against spikes in the cost of emission reductions by introducing additional emission allowances into the market when marginal costs rise above the specified allowance price level. We find two significant problems, both stemming from the asymmetry of an instrument that mitigates only against a price increase. One is that most important examples of price volatility in cap-and-trade programs have occurred not when prices spiked, but instead when allowance prices collapsed. Second, a single-sided safety valve may have unintended consequences for investment. We illustrate that a symmetric safety valve provides environmental and welfare improvements relative to the conventional one-sided approach.
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.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988.
"The Theory of Environmental Policy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120, October.
- Fell, Harrison & Burtraw, Dallas & Morgenstern, Richard D. & Palmer, Karen L., 2012. "Soft and hard price collars in a cap-and-trade system: A comparative analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 183-198.
- Zhao, Jinhua, 2003.
"Irreversible Abatement Investment Under Cost Uncertainties: Tradable Emission Permits and Emissions Charges,"
Staff General Research Papers Archive
10223, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Zhao, Jinhua, 2003. "Irreversible abatement investment under cost uncertainties: tradable emission permits and emissions charges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2765-2789, December.
- Zhao, Jinhua, 2000. "Irreversible Abatement Investment Under Cost Uncertainties: Tradable Emission Permits And Emissions Charges," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21816, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Jinhua Zhao, 2000. "Irreversible Abatement Investment Under Cost Uncertainties: Tradable Emission Permits and Emissions Charges," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 00-wp252, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
- Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1978. "Optimal Rewards for Economic Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 683-691, September.
- Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
- Spencer Banzhaf, H. & Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2004.
"Efficient emission fees in the US electricity sector,"
Resource and Energy Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 317-341, September.
- Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2002. "Efficient Emission Fees in the U.S. Electricity Sector," Discussion Papers dp-02-45, Resources For the Future.
- Lawrence Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004.
"Vickrey auctions with reserve pricing,"
Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 23(3), pages 493-505, March.
- Jacoby, Henry D. & Ellerman, A. Denny, 2004. "The safety valve and climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 481-491, March.
- Winston Harrington & Richard D. Morgenstern & Peter Nelson, 2000. "On the accuracy of regulatory cost estimates," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 297-322.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1973.
"Prices vs. Quantities,"
106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Fell, Harrison & Morgenstern, Richard, 2009.
"Alternative Approaches to Cost Containment in a Cap-and-Trade System,"
dp-09-14, Resources For the Future.
- Harrison Fell & Richard Morgenstern, 2010. "Alternative Approaches to Cost Containment in a Cap-and-Trade System," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 275-297, October.
- Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2006. "Summary of the Workshop to Support Implementing the Minimum 25 Percent Public Benefit Allocation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative," Discussion Papers dp-06-45, Resources For the Future.
- Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
- Pizer, William, 2005. "The Case for Intensity Targets," Discussion Papers dp-05-02, Resources For the Future.
- Richard G. Newell & William A. Pizer, 2008.
NBER Working Papers
13991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2001.
"The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licenses,"
2002-W4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Sep 2001.
- Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C74-C96, March.
- Binmore, Kenneth & Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-685, September.
- Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
- Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005.
"Markets for Clean Air,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894, October.
- Murray, Brian C. & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2008.
"Balancing Cost and Emissions Certainty: An Allowance Reserve for Cap-and-Trade,"
dp-08-24, Resources For the Future.
- Brian C. Murray & Richard G. Newell & William A. Pizer, 2009. "Balancing Cost and Emissions Certainty: An Allowance Reserve for Cap-and-Trade," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 84-103, Winter.
- Brian C. Murray & Richard G. Newell & William A. Pizer, 2008. "Balancing Cost and Emissions Certainty: An Allowance Reserve for Cap-and-Trade," NBER Working Papers 14258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Portney, Paul R, 1990. "Economics and the Clean Air Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 173-181, Fall.
- Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
- Mohn, Klaus & Osmundsen, Petter, 2008. "Exploration economics in a regulated petroleum province: The case of the Norwegian Continental Shelf," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 303-320, March.
- 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.
- Cameron Hepburn & Michael Grubb & Karsten Neuhoff & Felix Matthes & Maximilien Tse, 2006. "Auctioning of EU ETS phase II allowances: how and why?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 137-160, January.
- William A. Pizer, 2005. "The case for intensity targets," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 455-462, July.
- Philippe Quirion, 2005.
"Does uncertainty justify intensity emission caps?,"
- Dallas Burtraw & Alan Krupnick & Erin Mansur & David Austin & Deirdre Farrell, 1998. "Costs And Benefits Of Reducing Air Pollutants Related To Acid Rain," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 379-400, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:9:p:4921-4932. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.