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Enforcement and price controls in emissions trading

  • Stranlund, John K.
  • Moffitt, L. Joe
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines how enforcement affects the structure and performance of emissions trading programs with price controls under uncertainty about firms' abatement costs. The analysis highlights how an enforcement strategy can cause abatement-cost risk to be transmitted to enforcement costs via the price of permits. When this occurs, accommodating the effect of abatement-cost risk with an optimal policy results in higher expected emissions and lower expected permit price than their second-best optimal values. However, it is possible to design an enforcement strategy that shields enforcement costs from abatement-cost risk by tying sanctions directly to permit prices. This enforcement strategy stabilizes enforcement effort, the optimal permit supply and price controls are independent of enforcement costs, and the policy produces the second-best optimal outcome.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069613000867
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 20-38

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:67:y:2014:i:1:p:20-38
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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    1. John K. Stranlund & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon, 2010. "An Experimental Analysis of Compliance in Dynamic Emissions Markets," Working Papers 2010-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    2. Stranlund, John K. & Chávez, Carlos A. & Villena, Mauricio G., 2009. "The optimal pricing of pollution when enforcement is costly," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 183-191, September.
    3. Arguedas, Carmen, 2007. "To Comply or Not To Comply? Pollution Standard Setting Under Costly Monitoring and Sanctioning," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2007/13, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
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    6. Marcelo Caffera & Carlos Chávez, 2011. "The Cost-Effective Choice of Policy Instruments to Cap Aggregate Emissions with Costly Enforcement," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(4), pages 531-557, December.
    7. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
    8. Malik, Arun S., 2002. "Further Results on Permit Markets with Market Power and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-390, November.
    9. Fell, Harrison & Moore, Eric & Morgenstern, Richard D., 2011. "Cost Containment under Cap and Trade: A Review of the Literature," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 5(4), pages 285-307, September.
    10. Carlos Chavez & John K. Stranlund, 2000. "Enforcing Transferable Permit Systems in the Presence of Market Power," Working Papers 04-2000, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
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    19. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
    20. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
    21. Christina Hood, 2010. "Reviewing Existing and Proposed Emissions Trading Systems," IEA Energy Papers 2010/13, OECD Publishing.
    22. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2006. "Direct and market effects of enforcing emissions trading programs: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 217-233, October.
    23. 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.
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    25. van Egteren, Henry & Weber, Marian, 1996. "Marketable Permits, Market Power, and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 161-173, March.
    26. Webster, Mort & Sue Wing, Ian & Jakobovits, Lisa, 2010. "Second-best instruments for near-term climate policy: Intensity targets vs. the safety valve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 250-259, May.
    27. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 133-48, April.
    28. Malik, Arun S, 1992. "Enforcement Costs and the Choice of Policy Instruments for Controlling Pollution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 714-21, October.
    29. Malik, Arun S., 1990. "Markets for pollution control when firms are noncompliant," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 97-106, March.
    30. Andrew Yates, 2012. "On a Fundamental Advantage of Permits Over Taxes for the Control of Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 583-598, April.
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