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Lobbying for Emissions Allowances: A New Perspective on the Political Economy of the US Acid Rain Program

  • Julien A. Hanoteau


    (Groupe d’Economie Mondiale, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris)

This paper shows empirically that the choice between auction and grandfathering for the distribution of pollution permits is not neutral in presence of political market failures as it motivates rent-seeking. We model the distribution of free permits in the US sulfur emissions trading system as an endogenous sharing rule and we test this relation using PAC contribution as a measure of political influence. We find that shareholder interests of the US power sector influenced the distribution of permits as they were motivated by a windfall gain despite profit regulation in their sector and thanks to a climate of regulatory uncertainty when the law was discussed.

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Article provided by SIPI Spa in its journal Rivista di Politica Economica.

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January-February)
Pages: 289-314

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Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:93:y:2003:i:1:p:289-314
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