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Optimal monitoring of credit-based emissions trading under asymmetric information

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Abstract

Project-based emissions trading schemes, like the Clean Development Mechanism, are particularly prone to problems of asymmetric information between project parties and the regulator. In this paper, we extend the general framework on incomplete enforcement of policy instruments to reflect the particularities of credit-based mechanisms. The main focus of the analysis is to determine the regulator’s optimal spot-check frequency given plausible assumptions of incomplete enforcement under asymmetric information on reduction costs and heterogeneous verifiability of projects. We find that, depending on the actual abatement cost and penalty schemes, optimal monitoring for credit-based systems is often discontinuous and significantly differs from the one to be applied for cap-and-trade schemes or environmental taxes. We conclude that, in a real-world context, project admission should ultimately be based on the criterion of verifiability.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2011. "Optimal monitoring of credit-based emissions trading under asymmetric information," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 11/152, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:11-152
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    Cited by:

    1. Joschka Gerigk & Ian MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2015. "A Model of Benchmarking Regulation: Revisiting the Efficiency of Environmental Standards," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(1), pages 59-82, September.
    2. Gerigk, Joschka, 2016. "Emission taxes, lobbying, and incomplete enforcement," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145920, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental regulation; Project-based emissions trading systems; Audits and compliance.;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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