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A Note on Emissions Taxes and Incomplete Information

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  • Carlos Chávez

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  • John Stranlund

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Abstract

In contrast with what we perceive is the conventional wisdom about setting emissions taxes under uncertainty, we demonstrate that setting a uniform tax equal to expected marginal damage is not generally efficient under incomplete information about firms’ abatement costs and damages from pollution. We show that efficient taxes will deviate from expected marginal damage if there is uncertainty about the slopes of the marginal abatement costs of regulated firms. Moreover, efficient emissions tax rates will vary across firms if a regulator can use observable firm-level characteristics to gain some information about how the firms’ marginal abatement costs vary.
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Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Chávez & John Stranlund, 2009. "A Note on Emissions Taxes and Incomplete Information," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 137-144, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:44:y:2009:i:1:p:137-144
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-008-9257-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasios Kampas & Richard Horan, 2016. "Second-best pollution taxes: revisited and revised," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(4), pages 577-597, October.
    2. Holland, Stephen P. & Yates, Andrew J., 2015. "Optimal trading ratios for pollution permit markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 16-27.
    3. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Rault, Christophe & Sova, Robert & Sova, Anamaria, 2010. "Pollution Abatement and Control Expenditure in Romania: A Multilevel Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 5041, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jihad Elnaboulsi & W Daher & Y Saglam, 2015. "On the Social Value of Disclosed Information and Environmental Regulation," Working Papers hal-01377918, HAL.
    5. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Christophe Rault & Robert Sova & Anamaria Sova, 2010. "Determinants of Pollution Abatement and Control Expenditure in Romania: A Multilevel Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3255, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emissions taxes; Asymmetric information; Incomplete information; Uncertainty; L51; Q28;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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