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Do Emission Trading Schemes Facilitate Efficient Abatement Investments? An Experimental Study

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  • Silvester van Koten

Abstract

Cap-and-trade programs, such as the EU carbon Emission Trading Scheme, are currently the most prominent market-based method used to reduce carbon emissions. Cap-and-trade programs are, on theoretical grounds, considered to be a cost-efficient method. Experimental evidence, however, shows that experimental subjects make highly inefficient abatement choices and that permit allocation methods (allocating permits for free or against payment) bias subjects to too much or too little abatement. The experimental evidence thus suggests that cap-and-trade programs may in practice be more costly than theory predicts. This study, however, challenges this interpretation and shows that, when they are price takers (as in thick markets) and have ample opportunities for learning, subjects quickly learn to make accurate decisions and that these decisions are not affected by the permit allocation method.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvester van Koten, 2014. "Do Emission Trading Schemes Facilitate Efficient Abatement Investments? An Experimental Study," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp503, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp503
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    abatement; cap-and-trade; experimental economics; emission trading system; carbon permits; experience effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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