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A Cournot Mechanism for Pollution Control under Asymmetric Information

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  • Ross McKitrick

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Abstract

The contribution of this paper is to show that a simple nonlinear tax can achieve a long-run socially optimal level of pollution without the regulator knowing marginal abatement costs. Firms are charged their differential contribution to total damages, evaluated at the upper margin of current emissions. This induces a Cournot game in pollution levels. We show that the Nash equilibrium exists, corresponds to the socially optimal long-run output and emission levels and number of firms, is stable, and can be reached by iterative computations where conjectures are formed using a linear estimator based on past emission levels. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Suggested Citation

  • Ross McKitrick, 1999. "A Cournot Mechanism for Pollution Control under Asymmetric Information," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(3), pages 353-363, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:14:y:1999:i:3:p:353-363
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008397420322
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thorlund-Petersen, Lars, 1990. "Iterative computation of cournot equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 61-75, March.
    2. Fullerton, Don, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 245-251, March.
    3. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1995. "Optimal Linear Taxation of Polluting Oligopolists," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 85-100, January.
    4. Partha Dasgupta & Peter Hammond & Eric Maskin, 1980. "On Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(5), pages 857-860.
    5. Spulber, Daniel F., 1988. "Optimal environmental regulation under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 163-181, March.
    6. Evan Kwerel, 1977. "To Tell the Truth: Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 595-601.
    7. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, March.
    8. John Duggan & Joanne Roberts, 2002. "Implementing the Efficient Allocation of Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1070-1078, September.
    9. Biglaiser, Gary & Horowitz, John K & Quiggin, John, 1995. "Dynamic Pollution Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 33-44, July.
    10. Karp Larry & Livernois John, 1994. "Using Automatic Tax Changes to Control Pollution Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 38-48, July.
    11. F. H. Hahn, 1962. "The Stability of the Cournot Oligopoly Solution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 329-331.
    12. Spulber, Daniel F., 1985. "Effluent regulation and long-run optimality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-116, June.
    13. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Prieger, James E. & Sanders, Nicholas J., 2012. "Verifiable and non-verifiable anonymous mechanisms for regulating a polluting monopolist," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 410-426.
    2. Kennedy Peter W & Laplante Benoit & Whittington Dale, 2010. "Simple Pricing Schemes for Pollution Control under Asymmetric Information," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-37, February.
    3. Halkos, George & Kitsou, Dimitra, 2014. "A weighted location differential tax method in environmental problems," MPRA Paper 59502, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fischer, Carolyn, 2011. "Market power and output-based refunding of environmental policy revenues," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 212-230, January.
    5. Antelo, Manel & Loureiro, Maria L., 2009. "Asymmetric information, signaling and environmental taxes in oligopoly," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1430-1440, March.
    6. Fischer, Carolyn, 2003. "Output-Based Allocation of Environmental Policy Revenues and Imperfect Competition," Discussion Papers dp-02-60, Resources For the Future.
    7. Athanasios Kampas & Ben White, 2004. "Administrative Costs and Instrument Choice for Stochastic Non-point Source Pollutants," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 109-133, February.
    8. repec:spr:envpol:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10018-016-0179-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Paul Mensink, 2004. "Instant Efficient Pollution Abatement under Non-Linear Taxation and Asymmetric Information: The Differential Tax Revisited," Working Papers 2004.124, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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