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Trade of Permits for Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Bilateral Trade Need not Be the Answer



The Kyoto Protocol sets national quotas on CO2 emissions and allows international trade of these quotas. We argue that this trade is characterized by asymmetric, identity-dependent externalities, and show that bilateral trade may not be sufficient for an efficient allocation of emissions. We derive conditions under which bilateral trade does improve the allocation of permits. The conditions are strong. In this sense, we argue that, for emissions permits, market design matters.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Burguet & Jaume Sempere, 2007. "Trade of Permits for Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Bilateral Trade Need not Be the Answer," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 746.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:746.08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Springer, Urs, 2003. "The market for tradable GHG permits under the Kyoto Protocol: a survey of model studies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 527-551, September.
    2. Jehiel, Philippe & Moldovanu, Benny & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1996. "How (Not) to Sell Nuclear Weapons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 814-829, September.
    3. Copeland, Brian R. & Taylor, M. Scott, 2005. "Free trade and global warming: a trade theory view of the Kyoto protocol," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 205-234, March.
    4. Philippe Jehiel & Benny Moldovanu, 1999. "Resale Markets and the Assignment of Property Rights," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 971-991.
    5. Bagwell, Kyle & Mavroidis, Petros C. & Staiger, Robert W., 2007. "Auctioning countermeasures in the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 309-332, November.
    6. Peter Cramton & Suzi Kerr, 1999. "The Distributional Effects of Carbon Regulation: Why Auctioned Carbon Permits are Attractive and Feasible," Papers of Peter Cramton 99eedecr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised Feb 1998.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0017-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. José-María Da-Rocha & Jaume Sempere, 2017. "ITQs, Firm Dynamics and Wealth Distribution: Does Full Tradability Increase Inequality?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(2), pages 249-273, October.
    3. Elvio Accinelli & Leobardo Plata & Martín Puchet, 2007. "Can a reallocation of initial endowments improve social welfare?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0807, Department of Economics - dECON.

    More about this item


    Terms of trade; asymmetric externalities; permits trade;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment


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