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On Emissions Trading and Market Structure: Cap-and-Trade versus Intensity Standards

Author

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  • Frans Vries

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  • Bouwe Dijkstra

    ()

  • Matthew McGinty

    ()

Abstract

This paper examines the interdependence between imperfect competition and emissions trading. We particularly analyze the long run equilibrium in a two-sector (‘clean’ and ‘dirty’) model with Cournot competition among firms who face a fixed cost of production. The clean sector is defined as the sector with the highest long run cost margin on emissions. We compare the welfare implications of a cap-and-trade scheme with an emissions trading scheme based on relative intensity standards. It is shown that a firm’s long run equilibrium output in the clean or dirty sector does not depend on the emissions trading format, but only depends on the fixed cost of producing in the respective sector. Intensity standards can result in clean firms selling allowances to dirty firms, or dirty firms selling to clean firms. The former outcome yields higher welfare. It is demonstrated that cap-and-trade outperforms the intensity-based trading scheme in terms of long run welfare with free entry and exit. With intensity standards the size of the clean sector is too large. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Frans Vries & Bouwe Dijkstra & Matthew McGinty, 2014. "On Emissions Trading and Market Structure: Cap-and-Trade versus Intensity Standards," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(4), pages 665-682, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:58:y:2014:i:4:p:665-682
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-013-9715-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tombe, Trevor & Winter, Jennifer, 2015. "Environmental policy and misallocation: The productivity effect of intensity standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 137-163.
    2. repec:eee:eneeco:v:74:y:2018:i:c:p:456-469 is not listed on IDEAS

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