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The Time-Inconsistency of Alternative Energy Policy


  • Agnes d'Artigues
  • Jacques Percebois
  • Thierry Vignolo


Time-inconsistency can arise when a government attempts to convince private sector to use a particular alternative energy (gas, green electricity...) rather than petroleum products. By introducing taxes and feed-in prices, a government would encourage firms and households to switch to an alternative energy rather than use petroleum products. However, even if a government is in favor of increasing alternative energy consumption, it can benefit from considerable financial resources resulting from petroleum product consumption. As a result of these conflicting issues, the private sector may not find the alternative energy policy credible, which prevents the government to implement a socially efficient policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnes d'Artigues & Jacques Percebois & Thierry Vignolo, 2007. "The Time-Inconsistency of Alternative Energy Policy," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/32, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/32

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dieter Helm & Cameron Hepburn & Richard Mash, 2003. "Time Inconsistent Environmental Policy and Optimal Delegation," Economics Series Working Papers 175, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    4. Marsiliani, Laura & Renstrom, Thomas I, 2000. "Time Inconsistency in Environmental Policy: Tax Earmarking as a Commitment Solution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 123-138, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. McGregor, Peter G. & Kim Swales, J. & Winning, Matthew A., 2012. "A review of the role and remit of the committee on climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 466-473.

    More about this item


    energy policy; time inconsistency; alternative energy;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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