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Pollution markets with imperfectly observed emissions

  • Juan-Pablo Montero

I study the advantages of pollution permit markets over traditional standard regulations when the regulator has incomplete information on firms’ emissions and costs of production and abatement (e.g., air pollution in large cities). Because the regulator only observes each firm’s abatement technology but neither its emissions nor its output, there are cases in which standards can lead to lower emissions and, hence, welfare dominate permits. If permits are optimally combined with standards, in many cases this hybrid policy converges to the permits-alone policy but (almost) never to the standards-alone policy.

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 0414.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0414
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  1. Fullerton, Don & West, Sarah E., 2002. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 135-157, January.
  2. Montero, Juan-Pablo & Sanchez, Jose Miguel & Katz, Ricardo, 2002. "A Market-Based Environmental Policy Experiment in Chile," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 267-87, April.
  3. Spulber, Daniel F., 1988. "Optimal environmental regulation under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 163-181, March.
  4. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
  5. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  6. Kwerel, Evan, 1977. "To Tell the Truth: Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 595-601, October.
  7. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Stavins, Robert, 2000. "Experience with Market-Based Environmental Policy Instruments," Working Paper Series rwp00-004, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521660839 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2002. "Imperfect observability of emissions and second-best emission and output taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 385-407, September.
  12. Dasgupta, Partha & Hammond, Peter & Maskin, Eric, 1980. "On Imperfect Information and Optimal Pollution Control," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 857-60, October.
  13. Roberton Williams, 2002. "Prices vs. Quantities vs. Tradable Quantities," NBER Working Papers 9283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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