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Can Lobbying Encourage Abatement? Designing a New Policy Instrument

  • Ian A. Lange
  • Sarah Polborn

Taking a political economy perspective this paper proposes an alternative carbon abatement policy instrument with significant advantages over existing policy instruments. The key feature of the proposed carbon securities is that they entitle their owners to a fixed proportion of ex ante unknown total emissions. The total level of carbon emissions is set by the political process after the carbon securities have been sold. A key benefit of the proposed carbon security is that it creates a group of stakeholders, whose interest is for a smaller level of emissions and which competes with industries that consume significant amounts of carbon-based energy. The advantages over existing policy tools include an equilibrium carbon price closer to the level preferred by voters and a more predictable environmental policy in the presence of either climate or political uncertainty.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3760.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3760.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3760
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  1. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," NBER Working Papers 6464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lucas W. Davis & Erich Muehlegger, 2010. "Do Americans Consume Too Little Natural Gas? An Empirical Test of Marginal Cost Pricing," NBER Working Papers 15885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2014. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 343-79, November.
  4. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  5. Yu-Bong Lai, 2008. "Auctions or grandfathering: the political economy of tradable emission permits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 136(1), pages 181-200, July.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  7. Christopher R. Knittel, 2012. "Reducing Petroleum Consumption from Transportation," NBER Working Papers 17724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Oates, Wallace E. & Portney, Paul R., 2003. "The political economy of environmental policy," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 325-354 Elsevier.
  9. Nicolas Marceau & Michael Smart, 2003. "Corporate Lobbying and Commitment Failure in Capital Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 241-251, March.
  10. Robert W. Hahn, 2009. "Greenhouse Gas Auctions and Taxes: Some Political Economy Considerations," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 167-188, Summer.
  11. Hanley, Nicholas & Mackenzie, Ian A, 2010. "The effects of rent seeking over tradable pollution permits," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-02, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  12. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  13. Stavins, Robert, 2004. "Introduction to the Political Economy of Environmental Regulations," Discussion Papers dp-04-12, Resources For the Future.
  14. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H. & Jacobson, M.R., 2006. "Costs of Alternative Environmental Policy Instruments in the Presence of Industry Compensation Requirements," Discussion Paper 2006-127, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Nathaniel O. Keohane, 2009. "Cap and Trade, Rehabilitated: Using Tradable Permits to Control U.S. Greenhouse Gases," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 42-62, Winter.
  16. Markussen, Peter & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2005. "Industry lobbying and the political economy of GHG trade in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 245-255, January.
  17. Paul Ekins & Stefan Speck, 1999. "Competitiveness and Exemptions From Environmental Taxes in Europe," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(4), pages 369-396, June.
  18. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
  19. Nordhaus William D, 2010. "Carbon Taxes to Move Toward Fiscal Sustainability," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 1-5, September.
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