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Market Power in Pollution Permit Markets


  • Juan-Pablo Montero


As with other commodity markets, markets for trading pollution permits have not been immune to market power concerns. In this paper, I survey the existing literature on market power in permit trading but also contribute with some new results and ideas. I start the survey with Hahn’s (1984) dominant-firm (static) model that I then extend to the case in which there are two or more strategic firms that may also strategically interact in the output market, to the case in which current permits can be stored for future use (as in most existing and proposed market designs), to the possibility of collusive behavior, and to the case in which permits are auctioned off instead of allocated for free to firms. I finish the paper with a review of empirical evidence on market power, if any, with particular attention to the U.S. sulfur market and the Southern California NOx market.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan-Pablo Montero, 2009. "Market Power in Pollution Permit Markets," Working Papers 0906, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0906

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nils-Henrik Mørch von der Fehr, 1993. "Tradable emission rights and strategic interaction," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 129-151, April.
    2. van Egteren, Henry & Weber, Marian, 1996. "Marketable Permits, Market Power, and Cheating," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 161-173, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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