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When to Pollute, When to Abate? Intertemporal Permit Use in the Los Angeles NOx Market

  • Stephen P. Holland
  • Michael R. Moore

We study intertemporal trading of nitrogen oxides permits in Southern California’s RECLAIM program. We model RECLAIM’s distinct intertemporal features: two overlapping permit cycles and two overlapping compliance cycles. In the model, competitive equilibrium is cost-effective, and firms have an incentive to delay abatement. From 1994 to 2006, RECLAIM facilities traded intertemporally by using permits of the opposite cycle. We test two theoretical propositions—delayed abatement and trading across cycles—with a difference-in-differences estimator and show weak, though inconclusive, support of the theory. The theoretical and empirical results are relevant to cap-and-trade programs with potential for overlapping permit cycles.

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File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/88/2/275
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 275-299

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:88:y:2012:ii:1:p:275-299
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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  1. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
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  8. Yates, Andrew J. & Cronshaw, Mark B., 2001. "Pollution Permit Markets with Intertemporal Trading and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 104-118, July.
  9. Kling, Catherine L. & Rubin, Jonathan, 1997. "Bankable Permits for the Control of Environmental Pollution," Staff General Research Papers 1479, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Scott Lee Johnson & David M. Pekelney, 1996. "Economic Assessment of the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market: A New Emissions Trading Program for Los Angeles," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(3), pages 277-297.
  11. 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 669-85, September.
  12. Cronshaw, Mark B & Brown-Kruse, Jamie, 1996. "Regulated Firms in Pollution Permit Markets with Banking," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-89, March.
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  15. Thomas Klier & Richard Mattoon & Michael Prager, 1997. "A Mixed Bag: Assessmentof Market Performance and Firm Trading Behaviour in the NOx Reclaim Programme," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 751-774.
  16. Lata Gangadharan, 2004. "Analysis of prices in tradable emission markets: an empirical study of the regional clean air incentives market in Los Angeles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(14), pages 1569-1582.
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  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521023894 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Reimund Schwarze & Peter Zapfel, 2000. "Sulfur Allowance Trading and the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market: A Comparative Design Analysis of two Major Cap-and-Trade Permit Programs?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(3), pages 279-298, November.
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