The Timing of Environmental Policy: A Note on the Role of Product Differentiation
We examine the role that product differentiation can play in the design of environmental policy under full commitment and no commitment on the part of the environmental regulator. We consider a setting with two firms selling a differentiated product which generates pollution through emissions. Firms can reduce their emissions by undertaking abatement activities while an environmental regulator taxes emissions. The main results are: (1) When products are highly differentiated, the optimal time-consistent (no commitment) tax is always lower than the optimal pre-commitment tax. As the degree of product differentiation decreases, for relatively efficient abatement technology and high damages, the time-consistent emission tax exceeds the optimal pre-commitment one. (2) Abatement when product differentiation is extensive is higher under the time-consistent regime unless the abatement technology is extremely efficient. The same ranking applies to social welfare. However, as products become more and more similar, these results are (partially) reversed and pre-commitment could lead to both higher levels of abatement and welfare. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:21:y:2002:i:3:p:305-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.