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Investment Decisions and Emissions Reductions : Results from Experiments in Emissions Trading

Author

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  • L. Gangadharan
  • A. Farrell
  • R. Croson

Abstract

Emissions trading is an important regulatory tool in environmental policy making. Unfortunately the effectiveness of these regulations is difficult to measure in the field due to the unavailability of appropriate data. In contrast, experiments in the laboratory can provide guidance to regulators and legislatures about the performance of different market features in emission trading programs. This paper reports on the implementation of three different institutional designs, and presents experimental results investigating important features of emissions trading regimes: the ability to make investments in emissions abatement, ability to bank allowances and a declining emissions cap, both with and without uncertainty. These features are observed in virtually all existing air pollution emissions trading programs currently in place and will almost certainly be part of future applications. Like previous experimental studies of emissions trading, this paper shows that the efficiency gains expected from economic theory emerge observationally. We also show reduced efficiency when permits are bankable due to over-banking and when investments in emissions abatement are possible due to overinvesting. These tendencies do not worsen, however, when emissions caps decline.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Gangadharan & A. Farrell & R. Croson, 2005. "Investment Decisions and Emissions Reductions : Results from Experiments in Emissions Trading," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 942, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:942
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    File URL: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/wpapers-05/942.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anabela Botelho & Eduarda Fernandes & Lígia Costa Pinto, 2010. "An experimental analysis of grandfathering vs dynamic auctioning in the EU ETS," NIMA Working Papers 39, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
    2. Neil Ross Lambie, 2010. "Understanding the effect of an emissions trading scheme on electricity generator investment and retirement behaviour: the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(2), pages 203-217, April.
    3. Veronika Grimm & Lyuba Ilieva, 2013. "An experiment on emissions trading: the effect of different allocation mechanisms," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 308-338, December.
    4. Coria, Jessica & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Cárdenas, Juan Camilo, 2011. "Should we tax or let firms trade emissons? An experimental analysis with policy implications for developing countries," Working Papers in Economics 516, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emissions Trading; Investment in Abatement; Banking; Laboratory Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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