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Global Carbon Trade and Local Externalities


  • Reto Schleiniger


The burning of fossil fuels not only causes CO2 emissions but at the same time impairs local environmental condition such as ambient air quality. The present paper analyzes the distortion arising from international trade in carbon permits when local externalities persist. It is derived that the distortion is determined by the difference in factor endowment and population density of the trading regions. Moreover, an empirical illustration for Switzerland shows that a rich country buying emission rights sustains a welfare loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Reto Schleiniger, 2004. "Global Carbon Trade and Local Externalities," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(II), pages 245-264, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2004-ii-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
    2. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
    3. Boyd Roy & Krutilla Kerry & Viscusi W. Kip, 1995. "Energy Taxation as a Policy Instrument to Reduce CO2 Emissions: A Net Benefit Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, July.
    4. Stavins, Robert & Keohane, Nathaniel & Revesz, Richard, 1997. "The Positive Political Economy of Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers dp-97-25, Resources For the Future.
    5. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1995. "Trade and Transboundary Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 716-737, September.
    6. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1995. "Neoclassical Growth, the J Curve for Abatement, and the Inverted U Curve for Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 162-168, September.
    7. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
    8. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
    9. Böhringer, Christoph, 2001. "Climate politics from Kyoto to Bonn: from little to nothing?!?," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-49, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
    11. Felder, Stefan & Schleiniger, Reto, 2002. "National CO2 policy and externalities: some general equilibrium results for Switzerland," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 509-522, September.
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    More about this item


    International CO2 policy; emission trading; second-best analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General


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