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Market Power in Emission Permit Markets: Theory and Evidence from the EU ETS

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  • Beat Hintermann

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

Abstract A well-known result about market power in emission permit markets is that efficiency can be achieved by full free allocation to the dominant firm. I show that this result breaks down when taking the interaction between input and output markets into account, even if the dominant firm perceives market power in the permit market alone. I then examine the empirical evidence for price manipulation by the ten largest electricity firms during phase I of the EU ETS. I find that some firms’ excess allowance holdings are consistent with strategic price manipulation, and that they cannot be explained by price speculation or by precautionary purchases to insure against uncertain future emissions. My results suggest that market power is likely to be an empirically relevant concern during the early years of emission permit markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Beat Hintermann, 2017. "Market Power in Emission Permit Markets: Theory and Evidence from the EU ETS," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 89-112, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:66:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9939-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-015-9939-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Reyer Gerlagh & Roweno J.R.K. Wan, 2018. "Optimal Stabilization in an Emission Permits Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 6950, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Dickson, Alex & MacKenzie, Ian A., 2018. "Strategic trade in pollution permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 94-113.
    3. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:119-130 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emission permit markets; Market power; EU ETS; Cost pass-through;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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