IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

When to Pollute, When to Abate? Intertemporal Permit Use in the Los Angeles NOx Market

  • Stephen P. Holland
  • Michael Moore

Intertemporal tradability allows an emissions market to reduce abatement costs. We study intertemporal trading of nitrogen oxides permits in the RECLAIM program in Southern California. A theoretical model captures the program's key intertemporal features: two overlapping permit cycles, two compliance cycles for facilities, and tradable permits. We characterize the competitive equilibrium; show that it is cost effective; and demonstrate the firms' incentive to delay abatement, i.e., to trade intertemporally. Using model extensions to explore market design issues, an arbitrage condition implies that the equilibrium is invariant to overlapping compliance cycles, but depends crucially on overlapping permit cycles. We empirically investigate intertemporal trading of permits using panel data on RECLAIM facilities for 1994-2006. Facilities undertake trading by using a considerable proportion of permits of the opposite cycle. We econometrically test two theoretical propositions -- delayed abatement and trading across cycles -- with a difference-in-differences estimator. The results neither contradict nor provide conclusive support of the theory.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14254.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Stephen P. Holland & Michael R. Moore, 2012. "When to Pollute, When to Abate? Intertemporal Permit Use in the Los Angeles NOx Market," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 275-299.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14254
Note: EEE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894, October.
    • Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2000. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521660839, October.
  2. Paul L. Joskow, 2001. "California's Electricity Crisis," NBER Working Papers 8442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Reimund Schwarze & Peter Zapfel, 2000. "Sulfur Allowance Trading and the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market: A Comparative Design Analysis of two Major Cap-and-Trade Permit Programs?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(3), pages 279-298, November.
  4. Yates, Andrew J. & Cronshaw, Mark B., 2001. "Pollution Permit Markets with Intertemporal Trading and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 104-118, July.
  5. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
  6. Lata Gangadharan, 2004. "Analysis of prices in tradable emission markets: an empirical study of the regional clean air incentives market in Los Angeles," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(14), pages 1569-1582.
  7. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
  8. Kling, Catherine L. & Rubin, Jonathan, 1997. "Bankable Permits for the Control of Environmental Pollution," Staff General Research Papers 1479, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  10. Thomas Klier & Richard Mattoon & Michael Prager, 1997. "A Mixed Bag: Assessmentof Market Performance and Firm Trading Behaviour in the NOx Reclaim Programme," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 751-774.
  11. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  12. Tracy R. Lewis, 1996. "Protecting the Environment When Costs and Benefits Are Privately Known," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 819-847, Winter.
  13. Paul L. Joskow & Edward Kohn, 2002. "A Quantitative Analysis of Pricing Behavior in California's Wholesale Electricity Market During Summer 2000," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-35.
  14. Cronshaw, Mark B & Brown-Kruse, Jamie, 1996. "Regulated Firms in Pollution Permit Markets with Banking," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 179-89, March.
  15. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-85, September.
  16. Schennach, Susanne M., 2000. "The Economics of Pollution Permit Banking in the Context of Title IV of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 189-210, November.
  17. Lata Gangadharan, 2000. "Transaction Costs in Pollution Markets: An Empirical Study," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(4), pages 601-614.
  18. R. Trotignon & A. Denny Ellerman, 2008. "Compliance Behavior in THE EU-ETS: Cross Border Trading, Banking and Borrowing," Working Papers 0812, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  19. Scott Lee Johnson & David M. Pekelney, 1996. "Economic Assessment of the Regional Clean Air Incentives Market: A New Emissions Trading Program for Los Angeles," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(3), pages 277-297.
  20. Dale A. Carlson & Anne M. Sholtz, 1994. "Designing Pollution Market Instruments: Cases Of Uncertainty," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 114-125, October.
  21. Rubin, Jonathan D., 1996. "A Model of Intertemporal Emission Trading, Banking, and Borrowing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 269-286, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14254. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.