IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Personal tradable carbon permits for road transport: Why, why not and who wins?

  • Wadud, Zia

Personal road transport sector poses a significant challenge in reducing carbon emissions. This paper evaluates a policy approach known as personal tradable carbon permits to reduce carbon emissions from personal vehicles. The policy is a downstream tradable permit where individuals are allocated carbon emission caps. The policy is qualitatively evaluated in the context of carbon taxes and some upstream tradable permit options. The biggest disadvantage of such a policy is the initial set up costs. Personal tradable permits, however, are more effective than carbon taxes and are also capable of stabilizing the gasoline prices faced by the consumers when the underlying oil prices fluctuate. Since equity effects are often a concern to policy makers, the effect of such personal carbon permits on the distribution of burden is quantified in a partial equilibrium framework for the US population. Different permit allocation strategies are investigated in this regard. Using US consumer expenditure survey data, and incorporating a differentiated price response for different households, we find that all three allocation strategies considered are progressive: a per adult based allocation is the most progressive, a per vehicle allocation nearer to proportional, and a per capita allocation in between the two. Personal tradable permits therefore take care of equity concerns directly through the design of the policy.

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1052-1065

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1052-1065
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Postal:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Pezzey, John C.V., 2003. "Emission Taxes and Tradable Permits: A Comparison of Views on Long Run Efficiency," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58198, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Niemeier, Debbie A. & Gould, Gregory & Karner, Alex & Hixson, Mark & Bachmann, Brooke & Okma, Carrie & Lang, Ziv & Heres Del Valle, David, 2008. "Rethinking Downstream Regulation: California's Opportunity to Engage Households in Reducing Greenhouse Gases," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2ct0n1xv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  3. Parry, Ian, 2003. "Are Emissions Permits Regressive?," Discussion Papers dp-03-21, Resources For the Future.
  4. Henrik Hammar, Asa Lofgren and Thomas Sterner, 2004. "Political Economy Obstacles to Fuel Taxation," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-18.
  5. Casler, Stephen D. & Rafiqui, Aisha, 1993. "Evaluating Fuel Tax Equity: Direct and Indirect Distributional Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 197-205, June.
  6. Georgina Santos & Laurent Rojey, 2004. "Distributional impacts of road pricing: The truth behind the myth," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 21-42, February.
  7. Michael Ahlheim & Friedrich Schneider, 2002. "Allowing for Household Preferences in Emission Trading – A Contribution to the Climate Policy Debate," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(4), pages 317-342, April.
  8. Charles Raux & Grégoire Marlot, 2005. "A System of Tradable CO2 Permits Applied to Fuel Consumption by Motorists," Post-Print halshs-00067833, HAL.
  9. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2001. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-4, January.
  10. Cutler, David M & Katz, Lawrence F, 1992. "Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 546-51, May.
  11. E Verhoef & P Nijkamp & P Rietveld, 1997. "Tradeable permits: their potential in the regulation of road transport externalities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(4), pages 527-548, July.
  12. Woerdman, Edwin, 2001. "Emissions trading and transaction costs: analyzing the flaws in the discussion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 293-304, August.
  13. Stavins, Robert, 1998. "Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-98-26, Resources For the Future.
  14. Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
  15. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  16. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.
  17. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
  18. Zia Wadud & Daniel J. Graham & Robert B. Noland, 2010. "Gasoline Demand with Heterogeneity in Household Responses," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 47-74.
  19. Charles Raux, 2004. "The Use of Transferable Permits in Transport Policy," Post-Print halshs-00067895, HAL.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:10:p:1052-1065. 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.