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.
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