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The Regulatory Choice of Noncompliance in Emissions Trading Programs

  • John K. Stranlund

    ()

    (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

This paper addresses the following question: To achieve a fixed aggregate emissions target cost-effectively, should emissions trading programs be designed and implemented to achieve full compliance, or does allowing a certain amount of noncompliance reduce the costs of reaching the emissions target? The total costs of achieving the target consist of aggregate abatement costs, monitoring costs, and the expected costs of collecting penalties from noncompliant firms. Under common assumptions, I show that allowing noncompliance is cost-effective only if violations are enforced with an increasing marginal penalty. However, one can design a policy that induces full compliance with a constant marginal penalty that meets the aggregate emissions target at lower expected costs. This last result does not depend on setting an arbitrarily high constant marginal penalty. In fact, the marginal penalty need not be higher than the equilibrium marginal penalty under the policy with the increasing marginal penalty,and can actually be lower. Finally, tying the marginal penalty directly to the permit price allows the policy objective to be achieved without any knowledge of firms’ abatement costs.

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File URL: http://courses.umass.edu/resec/workingpapers/documents/ResEcWorkingPaper2006-7.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2006-7.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2006-7
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/

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  1. Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2004. "Optimal Enforcement Policy and Firm's Emissions and Compliance with Environmental Taxes," Working Papers 124, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Malik, Arun S., 2002. "Further Results on Permit Markets with Market Power and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-390, November.
  3. Polinsky, A Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1992. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 133-48, April.
  4. van Egteren, Henry & Weber, Marian, 1996. "Marketable Permits, Market Power, and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 161-173, March.
  5. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  6. Keeler, Andrew G., 1991. "Noncompliant firms in transferable discharge permit markets: Some extensions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 180-189, September.
  7. Stranlund, John K & Chavez, Carlos A, 2000. "Effective Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System with a Self-Reporting Requirement," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 113-31, September.
  8. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
  9. Juan-Pablo Montero & José Miguel Sánchez & Ricardo Katz, 2000. "A Market-Based Environmental Policy Experiment in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 192, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  10. James J. Murphy & John K. Stranlund, 2005. "A Laboratory Investigation of Compliance Behavior under Tradable Emissions Rights: Implications for Targeted Enforcement," Working Papers 2005-1, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  11. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
  12. Boemare, Catherine & Quirion, Philippe, 2002. "Implementing greenhouse gas trading in Europe: lessons from economic literature and international experiences," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 213-230, December.
  13. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  14. Carlos Chavez & John K. Stranlund, 2000. "Enforcing Transferable Permit Systems in the Presence of Market Power," Working Papers 04-2000, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
  15. Malik, Arun S., 1990. "Markets for pollution control when firms are noncompliant," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 97-106, March.
  16. Agnar Sandmo, 2002. "Efficient Environmental Policy with Imperfect Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 85-103, September.
  17. Devon Garvie & Andrew Keeler, 1993. "Incomplete Enforcement with Endogenous Regulatory Choice," Working Papers 873, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  18. Carmen Arguedas & Hamid Hamoudi, 2004. "Controlling Pollution with Relaxed Regulations," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 85-104, 07.
  19. 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.
  20. 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, 09.
  21. Bebchuk, Lucian Arye & Kaplow, Louis, 1993. "Optimal sanctions and differences in individuals' likelihood of avoiding detection," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 217-224, June.
  22. Carlos Chávez & John Stranlund, 2001. "Enforcing transferable permit systems in the presence of transaction cost," Working Papers 02-2001, Departamento de Economía, Universidad de Concepción.
  23. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  24. Hatcher, Aaron, 2005. "Non-compliance and the quota price in an ITQ fishery," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 427-436, May.
  25. Carlos Chavez & Hugo Salgado, 2005. "Individual Transferable Quota Markets under Illegal Fishing," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(3), pages 303-324, 07.
  26. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
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