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Market Power in Laboratory Emission Permit Markets

  • Robert Godby

    ()

Many proposals suggesting the use of markets tocontrol pollution assume markets will becompetitive. When markets do not exhibitcompetitive characteristics, however, shouldthey still be expected to result in efficiencyimprovement relative to traditional approaches? This paper employs experimental economicmethods to examine the effect of marketstructure on the use of marketable emissionspermits. Results indicate that in a market withone dominant firm and a number of fringe firms,strategic manipulation occurs repeatedly in thelaboratory as predicted by market power models,undermining the allocative and dynamicefficiency benefits such markets offer. Whenfirms compete in a downstream product marketdominated by the same single firm, marketefficiency can actually be reduced with theimplementation of permit markets. Final marketefficiencies reflect initial endowments and areinfluenced by competitive conditions elsewherein the economy, indicating that policy-makersshould carefully consider whether markets areappropriate in such circumstances. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1021263009621
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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 279-318

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:23:y:2002:i:3:p:279-318
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  1. Cason, T.N. & Gangadharan, L., 1997. "An Experimental Study of Electronic Bulletin Board Trading for Emission Permits," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 592, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Misiolek, Walter S. & Elder, Harold W., 1989. "Exclusionary manipulation of markets for pollution rights," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 156-166, March.
  3. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
  4. Hahn, Robert W, 1984. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 753-65, November.
  5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R & Riezman, Raymond G, 1995. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 462-91, June.
  7. Cason, Timothy N, 1995. "An Experimental Investigation of the Seller Incentives in the EPA's Emission Trading Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 905-22, September.
  8. R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 1998. "What have we learned from emissions trading experiments?," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 225-238.
  9. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
  10. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-387775 is not listed on IDEAS
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