Price-Based vs. Quantity-Based Environmental Regulation under Knightian Uncertainty: An Info-Gap Robust Satisficing Perspective
Conventional wisdom among environmental economists is that the relative slopes of the marginal social benefit and marginal social cost functions determine whether a price-based or quantity-based environmental regulation leads to higher expected social welfare. We revisit the choice between price-based vs. quantity-based environmental regulation under Knightian uncertainty; that is, when uncertainty cannot be modeled with known probability distributions. Under these circumstances, the policy objective cannot be to maximize the expected net benefits of emissions control. Instead, we evaluate an emissions tax and an aggregate abatement standard in terms of maximizing the range of uncertainty under which the welfare loss from error in the estimates of the marginal benefits and costs of emissions control can be limited. The main result of our work is that the same criterion involving the relative slopes of the marginal benefit and cost functions determines whether price-based or quantity-based control is more robust to unstructured uncertainty. Hence, not only does the relative slopes criterion lead to the policy that maximizes the expected net benefits of control under structured uncertainty, it also leads to the policy that maximizes robustness to unstructured uncertainty.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/|
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laffont, Jean Jacques, 1977. "More on Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 177-82, February.
- Philippe Quirion, 2004.
"Prices versus Quantities in a Second-Best Setting,"
Environmental & Resource Economics,
European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 337-360, November.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1973.
"Prices vs. Quantities,"
106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
- Malcomson, James M, 1978. "Prices vs. Quantities: A Critical Note on the Use of Approximations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(1), pages 203-07, February.
- Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
- L. Joe Moffitt & John K. Stranlund & Barry C. Field, 2005. "Inspections To Avert Terrorism: Robustness Under Severe Uncertainty," Working Papers 2005-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
- Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2002.
"Taxes versus quotas for a stock pollutant,"
Resource and Energy Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 367-384, November.
- Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2001. "Taxes versus Quotas for a Stock Pollutant," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt5fx9p7kf, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2006-1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eileen Keegan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.