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The Marginal Abatement Cost of Carbon Emissions in China

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  • Ma, Chunbo
  • Hailu, Atakelty

Abstract

There is an emerging literature estimating the marginal cost of carbon mitigation in China using distance function approaches; however, empirical estimates vary widely in magnitude and variation, which undermines support for policies to curb carbon emission. Applying three commonly used distance functions to China’s provincial data from 2001 to 2010, we show that the variability can be partially explained by the difference in the input/output coverage and whether the estimated marginal abatement cost (MAC) is conditional or unconditional. We also argue that the substantial heterogeneity in abatement cost estimates could be related to an economic interpretation that radial measures reflect the short-run MACs while non-radial measures reflect the long-run MACs. Our mean short-run MAC for carbon is 20 US$ per tonne, an amount that is very close to the carbon prices observed in China’s recently launched pilot markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Chunbo & Hailu, Atakelty, 2015. "The Marginal Abatement Cost of Carbon Emissions in China," Working Papers 204973, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwauwp:204973
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:2:p:429-:d:197917 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:energy:v:178:y:2019:i:c:p:685-694 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Asha Gunawardena, 2016. "Cost of Controlling Water Pollution and its Impact on Industrial Efficiency," Working Papers id:11537, eSocialSciences.
    4. Ke Wang & Linan Che & Chunbo Ma & Yi-Ming Wei, 2017. "The Shadow Price of CO2 Emissions in China's Iron and Steel Industry," CEEP-BIT Working Papers 105, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEP), Beijing Institute of Technology.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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