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Bankruptcy Risk and Imperfectly Enforced Emissions Taxes

Author

Listed:
  • John K. Stranlund

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Wei Zhang

    () (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

Under favorable but reasonable conditions, an imperfectly enforced emissions tax produces the efficient allocation of individual emissions control; aggregate emissions are independent of whether enforcement of the tax is sufficient to induce the full compliance of firms, and differences in individual violations are independent of firm-level differences. All of these desirable characteristics disappear when some firms under an emissions tax risk bankruptcy—the allocation of emissions control is inefficient, imperfect enforcement causes higher aggregate emissions, and financially insecure firms choose higher violations.

Suggested Citation

  • John K. Stranlund & Wei Zhang, 2008. "Bankruptcy Risk and Imperfectly Enforced Emissions Taxes," Working Papers 2008-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2008-3
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    File URL: http://courses.umass.edu/resec/workingpapers/documents/ResEcWorkingPaper2008-3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. 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.
    3. Yossef Spiegel & Daniel F. Spulber, 1994. "The Capital Structure of a Regulated Firm," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 424-440, Autumn.
    4. Damania, Richard & Bulte, Erwin H., 2006. "Renewable resource regulation and uncertain prices: The role of financial structure and bankruptcy," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 41-53, January.
    5. Harford, Jon D., 1987. "Self-reporting of pollution and the firm's behavior under imperfectly enforceable regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 293-303, September.
    6. Brander, James A. & Lewis, Tracy R., 1986. "Oligopoly and Financial Structure: The Limited Liability Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 956-970, December.
    7. Agnar Sandmo, 2002. "Efficient Environmental Policy with Imperfect Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 85-103, September.
    8. Harford, Jon D., 1978. "Firm behavior under imperfectly enforceable pollution standards and taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 26-43, March.
    9. Damania, R., 2000. "Financial structure and the effectiveness of pollution control in an oligopolistic industry," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 21-36, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2006. "Direct and market effects of enforcing emissions trading programs: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 217-233, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bankruptcy; Emissions Taxes; Limited Liability;

    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
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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