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Strategic Manipulation of Pollution Permit Markets: An Experimental Approach

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  • Jamie Brown-Kruse
  • Steven R Elliot
  • Rob Godby

Abstract

In this paper we employ experimantal economic methods to examine the effect of market structure on the use of marketable emmisions permits. In particular, we ask whether firms can strategically manipulate a product market using marketable emissions permits. Subjects participate in two markets, a permit market and a product market. They use permits to reduce the cost of production of the final goods that they sell in the product market. Four treatments are used to test the effects of initial permit allocation and market structure. The first two treatments explore "simple" manipulation. In this case firms are all price takers in the product market but must compete both in the permit and final product markets, thus opening the potential use of permits as a form of market predation. Results show that in a market with one dominant firm and a number of fringe firms, strategic manipulation occurs repeatedly in the laboratory as the dominant firm uses licenses in an inefficient manner in order to minimize its costs, increase its profits and exclude rivals in the product market. Further these finding indicate, that far from improving market efficiency and decreasing the cost to society of pollution control, implementation of tradable permit markets where there are firms in a position of market power may decrease efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jamie Brown-Kruse & Steven R Elliot & Rob Godby, 1995. "Strategic Manipulation of Pollution Permit Markets: An Experimental Approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-03, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:1995-03
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    File URL: http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/95-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "Market power in tradable emission markets: a laboratory testbed for emission trading in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 469-491, October.
    2. R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 1998. "What have we learned from emissions trading experiments?," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4-5), pages 225-238.
    3. Giuseppe Attanasi & Kene Boun My & Andrea Guido & Mathieu Lefevbre, 2019. "Controlling Monopoly Power in a Classroom Double-Auction Market Experiment," Working Papers of BETA 2019-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    4. Hans‐Theo Normann & Roberto Ricciuti, 2009. "Laboratory Experiments For Economic Policy Making," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 407-432, July.
    5. Nguyen, N.P. & Shortle, J.S. & Reed, P.M. & Nguyen, T.T., 2013. "Water quality trading with asymmetric information, uncertainty and transaction costs: A stochastic agent-based simulation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 60-90.
    6. Bodo Sturm, 2008. "Market Power in Emissions Trading Markets Ruled by a Multiple Unit Double Auction: Further Experimental Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 467-487, August.
    7. Tisdell, John G. & Grainger, Corinne, 2008. "An Experimental Economic Analysis of Carbon Trading Options for Australia," 2008 Conference, August 28-29, 2008, Nelson, New Zealand 96661, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2006. "Experiments in Environmental Economics and Some Close Relatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 419-457, July.
    9. Kristiana Hansen & Jonathan Kaplan & Stephan Kroll, 2014. "Valuing Options in Water Markets: A Laboratory Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 59-80, January.
    10. Requate, Till, 2005. "Environmental Policy under Imperfect Competition: A Survey," Economics Working Papers 2005-12, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    11. R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman & John Spraggon & Rob Godby, 1999. "Can auctions control market power in emissions trading markets," Department of Economics Working Papers 1999-12, McMaster University.
    12. Beat Hintermann, 2013. "Market Power in Emission Permit Markets: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4447, CESifo.
    13. Stuart Mestelman, 2000. "Environmental Policy: Lessons from the Laboratory," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 2000-01, McMaster University.

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