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Contracting for Impure Public Goods: Carbon Offsets and Additionality

  • Charles F. Mason

    (Department of Economics & Finance, University of Wyoming)

  • Andrew J. Plantinga

    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University)

Governments contracting with private agents for the provision of an impure public good must contend with agents who would potentially supply the good absent any payments. This additionality problem is centrally important in the use of carbon offsets as part of climate change mitigation. Analyzing optimal contracts for forest carbon sequestration, an important offset category, we conduct a national-scale simulation using results from an econometric model of land-use change. The results indicate that for an increase in forest area of 50 million acres, annual government expenditures with optimal contracts are about $4 billion lower compared than under a uniform subsidy.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.13.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.13
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  1. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "The comparative static properties of the impure public good model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 403-421, July.
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  11. Stavins, Robert N & Jaffe, Adam B, 1990. "Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 337-52, June.
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  15. William P. Rogerson, 2003. "Simple Menus of Contracts in Cost-Based Procurement and Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 919-926, June.
  16. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
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