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Risk Aversion and Compliance in Markets for Pollution Control

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  • John K. Stranlund

    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of risk aversion on compliance choices in markets for pollution control. A firm’s decision to be compliant or not is independent of its manager’s risk preference. However, noncompliant firms with risk averse managers will have lower violations than otherwise identical firms with risk neutral managers. The violations of noncompliant firms with risk averse managers are independent of differences in their benefits from emissions and their initial allocations of permits if and only if their managers’ utility functions exhibit constant absolute risk aversion. However, firm-level characteristics do impact violation choices when managers have coefficients of absolute risk aversion that are increasing or decreasing in profit levels. Finally, in the equilibrium of a market for emissions rights with widespread noncompliance, risk aversion is associated with higher permit prices, better environmental quality, and lower aggregate violations.

Suggested Citation

  • John K. Stranlund, 2006. "Risk Aversion and Compliance in Markets for Pollution Control," Working Papers 2006-2, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2006-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Stranlund, John K. & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 1999. "Endogenous Monitoring and Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 267-282, November.
    12. John Stranlund & Christopher Costello & Carlos Chávez, 2005. "Enforcing Emissions Trading when Emissions Permits are Bankable," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 181-204, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2007. "A laboratory investigation of compliance behavior under tradable emissions rights: Implications for targeted enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 196-212, March.
    2. Yano, Yuki & Blandford, David, 2008. "Use of Penalties and Rewards in Agri-Environmental Policy," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 36873, Agricultural Economics Society.
    3. Fatih Karanfil, 2011. "Environmental regulation in the presence of unrecorded economy," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 126-127, pages 91-108.
    4. Restiani, Phillia & Betz, Regina, 2010. "A Theoretical Model of Optimal Compliance Decisions under Different Penalty Designs in Emissions Trading Markets," Research Reports 107585, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emissions Trading; Compliance; Enforcement; Risk Aversion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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