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Regulation, Allocation and Leakage in Cap-And-Trade Markets for CO2

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  • Bushnell, James
  • Chen, Yihsu

Abstract

The allocation of emissions allowances is among the most contentious elements of the design of cap-and-trade systems. In this paper we develop a detailed representation of the US western electricity market to assess the potential impacts of various allocation proposals. Several proposals involve the "updating'' of permit allocation, where the allocation is tied to the ongoing output, or input use, of plants. These allocation proposals are designed with the goals of limiting the pass-through of carbon costs to product prices, mitigating leakage, and of mitigating costs to high-emissions firms. However, some forms of updating can also inflate permit prices, thereby limiting the benefits of such schemes to high emissions firms. Rather than mitigating the impact on high carbon producers, the net operating profit of such firms can actually be lower under input-based updating than under auctioning. This is due to the fact that product prices (and therefore revenues) are lower under input-based updating, but overall compliance costs are relatively comparable between auctioning and input-based updating. In this way, the anticipated benefits from allocation updating are reduced and further distortions are introduced into the trading system.

Suggested Citation

  • Bushnell, James & Chen, Yihsu, 2009. "Regulation, Allocation and Leakage in Cap-And-Trade Markets for CO2," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13131, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karsten Neuhoff & Kim Keats Martinez & Misato Sato, 2006. "Allocation, incentives and distortions: the impact of EU ETS emissions allowance allocations to the electricity sector," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 73-91, January.
    2. Sterner, Thomas & Muller, Adrian, 2006. "Output and Abatement Effects of Allocation Readjustment in Permit Trade," Discussion Papers dp-06-49, Resources For the Future.
    3. Damien Demailly & Philippe Quirion, 2006. "CO 2 abatement, competitiveness and leakage in the European cement industry under the EU ETS: grandfathering versus output-based allocation," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 93-113, January.
    4. Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
    5. Fischer, Carolyn, 2003. "Output-Based Allocation of Environmental Policy Revenues and Imperfect Competition," Discussion Papers dp-02-60, Resources For the Future.
    6. Damien Demailly & Philippe Quirion, 2006. "CO2 abatement, competitiveness and leakage in the European cement industry under the EU ETS: Grandfathering vs. output-based allocation," Post-Print halshs-00639327, HAL.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
    2. Xu, Li & Deng, Shi-Jie & Thomas, Valerie M., 2016. "Carbon emission permit price volatility reduction through financial options," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 248-260.
    3. Garth Heutel, 2012. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 244-264, April.
    4. Fleming, Patrick & Lichtenberg, Erik & Newburn, David, 2018. "Water Quality Trading Program Design with Heterogeneous Behavioral Responses," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274429, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Philippe Quirion, 2009. "Historic versus output-based allocation of GHG tradable allowances: a comparison," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(6), pages 575-592, November.
    6. Ralf Martin & Mirabelle Mu?ls & Laure B. de Preux & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2014. "Industry Compensation under Relocation Risk: A Firm-Level Analysis of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2482-2508, August.
    7. Erin T. Mansur, 2011. "Upstream versus Downstream Implementation of Climate Policy," NBER Chapters,in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 179-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hobbs, Benjamin F. & Bushnell, James & Wolak, Frank A., 2010. "Upstream vs. downstream CO2 trading: A comparison for the electricity context," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3632-3643, July.
    9. Stephen P. Ryan & Mar Reguant & Meredith Fowlie, 2011. "Pollution Permits and the Evolution of Market Structure," 2011 Meeting Papers 1440, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Holland, Stephen P., 2012. "Emissions taxes versus intensity standards: Second-best environmental policies with incomplete regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 375-387.
    11. Makoto Tanaka and Yihsu Chen, 2012. "Emissions Trading in Forward and Spot Markets for Electricity," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    12. Stephen P. Holland, 2009. "Taxes and Trading versus Intensity Standards: Second-Best Environmental Policies with Incomplete Regulation (Leakage) or Market Power," NBER Working Papers 15262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tanaka, Makoto & Chen, Yihsu, 2012. "Market power in emissions trading: Strategically manipulating permit price through fringe firms," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 203-211.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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