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A Theory of Optimal Green Defaults

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  • Georg Meran

    (Faculty of Economics and Management, Berlin University of Technology, 10623 Berlin, Germany)

  • Reimund Schwarze

    (Department of Economics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany)

Abstract

This paper develops an analytical framework for studying the Baumol–Oates efficiency of traditional single instrument abatement policies vis-à-vis green defaults in the face of price inertia and passive choice by subpopulations. In this special case of behavioural heterogeneity, command and control approaches can outperform price-based instruments while pure tax/subsidy schemes need to be adjusted in order to achieve politically desired levels of abatement. We also prove that choice-preserving nudges are superior to any single-instrument policy in this case. An average marginal abatement cost rule is developed to optimize the green defaults and traditional policies of standards and prices under different degrees of market rigidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Georg Meran & Reimund Schwarze, 2018. "A Theory of Optimal Green Defaults," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-17, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2902-:d:164007
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaiser, Micha & Bernauer, Manuela & Sunstein, Cass R. & Reisch, Lucia A., 2020. "The power of green defaults: the impact of regional variation of opt-out tariffs on green energy demand in Germany," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 174(C).
    2. Michalek, Gabriela & Meran, Georg & Schwarze, Reimund & Yildiz, Özgür, 2016. "Nudging as a new "soft" policy tool: An assessment of the definitional scope of nudges, practical implementation possibilities and their effectiveness," Economics Discussion Papers 2016-18, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    3. Gabriela Michalek & Georg Meran & Reimund Schwarze & Özgür Yildiz, 2015. "Nudging as a new 'soft' tool in environmental policy. An analysis based on insights from cognitive and social psychology," Discussion Paper Series RECAP15 21, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    nudge; policy mix; behavioural heterogeneity; environmental taxes and subsidies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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