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Environmental Policy and Firm Behavior: Abatement Investment and Location Decisions Under Uncertainty and Irreversibility

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  • Anastasios Xepapadeas

Abstract

This paper explores abatement investment and location responses to environmental policy, which takes the form of emission taxes or tradeable emission permits and subsidies against the costs of abatement investment, under uncertainty and irreversibility. Uncertainty is associated with output price, environmental policy parameters, or technological parameters. Irreversibility is related to abatement expenses and movements to a new location. Uncertainty is modeled by Itô stochastic differential equations, and the problem is analyzed by using optimal stopping methodologies. Continuation intervals during which firms do not engage in abatement investment or relocate and intervals during which firms take the irreversible decision of undertaking abatement expenses or relocating are defined. Free boundaries are characterized for a variety of cases that include output price uncertainty expressed both in terms of continuous fluctuations of permit prices and unpredictable policy changes, and combined policy and technological uncertainty. An optimal environmental policy is defined as the combination of policy parameters that makes the free boundary corresponding to the profit maximization problem coincide with the free boundary corresponding to a social optimization problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios Xepapadeas, 1999. "Environmental Policy and Firm Behavior: Abatement Investment and Location Decisions Under Uncertainty and Irreversibility," NBER Technical Working Papers 0243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0243
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    1. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1992. "Environmental policy, adjustment costs, and behavior of the firm," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 258-275, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agliardi, Elettra & Sereno, Luigi, 2011. "The effects of environmental taxes and quotas on the optimal timing of emission reductions under Choquet–Brownian uncertainty," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2793-2802.
    2. Lambie, Neil Ross, 2009. "The role of real options analysis in the design of a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47626, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. Giuseppe Travaglini, 2012. "Pollution control: targets and dynamics," Working Papers 1201, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2012.
    4. Fridrik Baldursson & Nils-Henrik Fehr, 2012. "Price Volatility and Risk Exposure: On the Interaction of Quota and Product Markets," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(2), pages 213-233, June.
    5. Zhao, Jinhua, 2003. "Irreversible abatement investment under cost uncertainties: tradable emission permits and emissions charges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2765-2789, December.
    6. Agliardi, Elettra & Sereno, Luigi, 2012. "Environmental protection, public finance requirements and the timing of emission reductions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(06), pages 715-739, December.
    7. Baldursson, Fridrik M. & von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik M, 2002. "Prices vs quantitities: the case of risk averse agents," Memorandum 01/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    8. T. Verbeke & M. De Clercq, 2003. "Environmental policy uncertainty, policy coordination and relocation decisions," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/208, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    9. Slechten, Aurélie, 2013. "Intertemporal links in cap-and-trade schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 319-336.
    10. Baldursson, Fridrik M & von der Fehr, N.-H.M.Nils-Henrik M, 2004. "Price volatility and risk exposure: on market-based environmental policy instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 682-704, July.
    11. Saltari, Enrico & Travaglini, Giuseppe, 2011. "The effects of environmental policies on the abatement investment decisions of a green firm," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 666-685, September.
    12. Jyh-Bang Jou, 2001. "Environment, Asset Characteristics, and Optimal Effluent Fees," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(1), pages 27-39, September.
    13. Li, Shoude, 2013. "Emission permit banking, pollution abatement and production–inventory control of the firm," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 679-685.
    14. Travaglini, Giuseppe, 2015. "Nonlinear dynamic pollution under uncertainty and binding targets," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 175-183.
    15. Enrico Saltari & Giuseppe Travaglini, 2013. "Optimal Waste Control with Abatement and Productive Capital Stocks," Working Papers 1301, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2013.

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