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Implications of Alternative Emission Trading Plans: Experimental Evidence

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  • Neil J. Buckley
  • S. Mestelman
  • Andrew Muller

Abstract

Two approaches to emissions trading are cap-and-trade, in which an aggregate cap on emissions is distributed in the form of emission allowances and baseline-and-credit, in which firms earn emission reduction credits for emissions below their baselines. Theoretical considerations suggest the long-run equilibria of the two plans will differ if baselines are proportional to output, because a variable baseline is equivalent to an output subsidy. To test this prediction we have developed a computerized environment in which subjects representing firms can adjust both their emission rates (per unit output) and capacity levels. Subjects buy or sell emission rights (allowances or credits) in a sealed bid call auction. The demand for output is simulated. All decisions are tracked through a double-entry bookkeeping system. This environment is to be used to compare short and long run responses to the alternative trading methods. Initial experiments in this environment will alternately hold emission rate and capacity choice constant. We report on six experimental sessions with variable emissions rates but fixed capacity and two pilot sessions with variable capacity but fixed emission rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil J. Buckley & S. Mestelman & Andrew Muller, 2004. "Implications of Alternative Emission Trading Plans: Experimental Evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-07, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2004-07
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2004-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2006. "Emissions variability in tradable permit markets with imperfect enforcement and banking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 199-216, October.
    2. Bohm, Peter, 2003. "Experimental evaluations of policy instruments," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 437-460 Elsevier.
    3. Neil J. Buckley, 2004. "Short-Run Implications of Cap-and-Trade versus Baseline-and-Credit Emission Trading Plans: Experimental Evidence," Department of Economics Working Papers 2004-05, McMaster University.
    4. 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.
    5. Fischer, Carolyn, 2001. "Rebating Environmental Policy Revenues: Output-Based Allocations and Tradable Performance Standards," Discussion Papers dp-01-22, Resources For the Future.
    6. Neil J. Buckley & R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 2003. "Long-Run Implications of Alternative Emission Trading Plans: An Experiment with Robot Traders," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 2003-03, McMaster University.
    7. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2006. "Direct and market effects of enforcing emissions trading programs: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 217-233, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Neil J. Buckley & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 2014. "Production Capacity and Abatement Technology Strategies in Emissions Trading Markets," Department of Economics Working Papers 2014-16, McMaster University.
    2. Jones, Luke R. & Vossler, Christian A., 2014. "Experimental tests of water quality trading markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 449-462.
    3. Lata Gangadharan & Rachel Croson & Alex Farrell, 2013. "Investment decisions and emissions reductions: results from experiments in emissions trading," Chapters,in: Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 8, pages 233-264 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Eva Camacho-Cuena & Till Requate & Israel Waichman, 2012. "Investment Incentives Under Emission Trading: An Experimental Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(2), pages 229-249, October.
    5. Toth, Sandor F. & Rabotyagov, Sergey S. & Ettl, Gregory J., 2009. "Experimental Testbeds for ECOSEL: A Market Framework for Private Provision of Forest Ecosystem Services," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49565, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. repec:ags:aare05:139304 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Passey, Robert & MacGill, Iain & Outhred, Hugh, 2008. "The governance challenge for implementing effective market-based climate policies: A case study of The New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2999-3008, August.
    8. Duke, Charlotte, 2006. "Experimental Economics and Water Policy," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25369, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Neil J. Buckley & R. Andrew Muller & Stuart Mestelman, 2005. "Baseline-and-Credit Style Emission Trading Mechanisms: An Experimental Investigation of Economic Inefficiency," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-04, McMaster University.
    10. Betz, Regina, 2006. "Emissions trading to combat climate change: The impact of scheme design on transaction costs," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 174096, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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