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Regulating a Polluting Oligopoly: Emission Tax or Voluntary Agreement?

  • Maia David

This paper compares, in a polluting oligopoly, an emission tax and a form of environmental policy called voluntary agreement (VA). There are here two ways of reducing pollution: output contraction and endof- pipe abatement. Given the imperfect competition, firms' reaction to the tax is sub-optimal. They reduce output excessively in order to raise the price and do not abate enough. The VA is a take-it-or-leaveit contract on abatement effort, offered to the firms with the threat of a tax. It has a limited effect on output and always allows higher abatement than the tax. We find that this kind of VA may be more efficient than the tax in a concentrated industry, when pollution is not too harmful and when the abatement technology is rather efficient and cheap.

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Paper provided by INRA, Economie Publique in its series Working Papers with number 2004/07.

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Date of creation: 20 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:apu:wpaper:2004/07
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  1. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, October.
  2. Kort, P.M. & Farzin, Y.H., 2000. "Pollution abatement investment when environmental regulation is uncertain," Other publications TiSEM 90e78d8b-95d9-4d17-9d0f-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  3. Anna Alberini & Kathleen Segerson, 2002. "Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 157-184, June.
  4. Barnett, A H, 1980. "The Pigouvian Tax Rule under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1037-41, December.
  5. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-77, March.
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