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Updating Allowance Allocations in Cap-and-Trade: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program

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  • Ian Lange

    (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines)

  • Peter Maniloff

    (Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines)

Abstract

The level and distribution of the costs of tradable allowance schemes are important determinants of whether the regulation is ultimately enacted. Theoretical and simulation models have shown that updating allowance allocations based on firm emissions or output can improve the efficiency of the scheme by acting as a production subsidy. Using the U.S. NOx Budget Program (NBP) as a case study, this analysis tests whether power plants in states which chose an updating allocation increase their electricity production relative to plants in states that chose a fixed allocation. Results find that updating allocations led to a 5 percentage point increase in capacity factors for natural gas combined cycle generators and no effect or a modest decrease for coal generators. These findings imply that an updating allocations confers a modest but meaningful subsidy to production relative to a fixed allocation and that firm responses are heterogeneous based on production technology and market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Lange & Peter Maniloff, 2017. "Updating Allowance Allocations in Cap-and-Trade: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program," Working Papers 2017-01, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:mns:wpaper:wp201701
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    File URL: http://econbus-papers.mines.edu/working-papers/wp201701.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Palmer, Karen & Burtraw, Dallas & Paul, Anthony & Yin, Hang, 2017. "Using Production Incentives to Avoid Emissions Leakage," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S1), pages 45-56.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cap-and-trade; electricity; climate change;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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