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What Do Emissions Markets Deliver and to Whom? Evidence from Southern California's NOx Trading Program

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  • Meredith Fowlie
  • Stephen P. Holland
  • Erin T. Mansur

Abstract

A perceived advantage of cap-and-trade programs over more prescriptive environmental regulation is that enhanced compliance flexibility and cost effectiveness can make more stringent emissions reductions politically feasible. However, increased compliance flexibility can also result in an inequitable distribution of pollution. We investigate these issues in the context of Southern California's RECLAIM program. We match facilities in RECLAIM with similar California facilities also located in non-attainment areas. Our results indicate that emissions fell approximately 24 percent, on average, at RECLAIM facilities relative to our counterfactual. Furthermore, we find that observed changes in emissions do not vary significantly with neighborhood demographic characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Meredith Fowlie & Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur, 2009. "What Do Emissions Markets Deliver and to Whom? Evidence from Southern California's NOx Trading Program," NBER Working Papers 15082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15082
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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