On the Efficiency of Competitive Markets for Emission Permits
It is typical for economists andpolicy makers alike to presume that competitivemarkets allocate emission permits efficiently.This paper demonstrates that competition in theemission permits market cannot assureefficiency when the product market isoligopolistic. We provide the conditions underwhich a bureaucratic mechanism is welfaresuperior to a tradeable emission permitssystem. Price-taking behaviour in the permitsmarket ensures transfer of licenses to the lessefficient in abatement firms, which then becomemore aggressive in the product market,acquiring additional permits. As a result, theless efficient firms end up with a higher thanthe welfare maximizing share of emissionpermits. If the less efficient in abatementfirms are also less efficient in production,competitive trading of permits may result inlower output and welfare. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
Volume (Year): 27 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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