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Transaction Costs in Pollution Markets: An Empirical Study


  • Lata Gangadharan


This paper studies a market in pollution permits launched in Los Angeles in 1994. This tradable permit market has been projected to lead to substantial cost savings due to the flexibility it provides firms in terms of compliance with environmentarl egulation. This paper shows that transaction costs can play an important role in the initial years of the program. The transaction cost variables have been defined to include search costs and information costs. These costs are significant in explaining non-participation of some firms in the market. The study also draws policy implications for the development of future emissions trading programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Lata Gangadharan, 2000. "Transaction Costs in Pollution Markets: An Empirical Study," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(4), pages 601-614.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:76:y:2000:i:4:p:601-614

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 1994. "Emission Trading with Shares and Coupons: A Laboratory Experiment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 185-211.
    2. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
    3. Burtraw, Dallas & Bohi, Douglas, 1997. "SO2 Allowance Trading: How Experience and Expectations Measure Up," Discussion Papers dp-97-24, Resources For the Future.
    4. Rose, Kenneth, 1995. "Twelve common myths of allowance trading: Improving the level of discussion," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 64-69, May.
    5. Cason, Timothy N, 1995. "An Experimental Investigation of the Seller Incentives in the EPA's Emission Trading Auction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 905-922, September.
    6. Ben-David, Shaul & Brookshire, David S. & Burness, Stuart & McKee, Michael & Schmidt, Christian, 1999. "Heterogeneity, Irreversible Production Choices, and Efficiency in Emission Permit Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 176-194, September.
    7. Cason Timothy N., 1993. "Seller Incentive Properties of EPA's Emission Trading Auction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 177-195, September.
    8. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
    9. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
    10. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-685, September.
    11. Cason, Timothy N & Gangadharan, Lata, 1998. "An Experimental Study of Electronic Bulletin Board Trading for Emission Permits," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 55-73, July.
    12. Cason, Timothy N. & Plott, Charles R., 1996. "EPA's New Emissions Trading Mechanism: A Laboratory Evaluation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 133-160, March.
    13. Godby, Robert W. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew & Welland, J. Douglas, 1997. "Emissions Trading with Shares and Coupons when Control over Discharges Is Uncertain," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 359-381, March.
    14. Karl Hausker, 1992. "The politics and economics of auction design in the market for sulfur dioxide pollution," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 553-572.
    15. Franciosi Robert & Isaac R. Mark & Pingry David E. & Reynolds Stanley S., 1993. "An Experimental Investigation of the Hahn-Noll Revenue Neutral Auction for Emissions Licenses," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-24, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


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