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Profiting from Regulation: An Event Study of the EU Carbon Market

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  • James B. Bushnell
  • Howard Chong
  • Erin T. Mansur

Abstract

Tradable permit regulations have recently been implemented for climate change policy in many countries. One of the first mandatory markets was the EU Emission Trading System, whose first phase ran from 2005-07. Unlike taxes, permits expose firms to volatility in regulatory costs, but are typically accompanied by property rights in the form of grandfathered permits. In this paper, we examine the effect of this type of environmental regulation on profits. In particular, changes in permit prices affect: (1) the direct and indirect input costs, (2) output revenue, and (3) the carbon permit asset value. Depending on abatement costs, output price sensitivity, and permit allocation, these effects may vary considerably across industries and firms. We run an event study of the carbon price crash on April 25, 2006 by examining the daily stock returns for 90 stocks from carbon intensive industries and approximately 600 stocks in the broad EUROSTOXX index. In general, firms in industries that tended to be either carbon intensive, or electricity intensive, but not involved in international trade, were hurt by the decline in permit prices. In industries that were known to be net short of permits, the cleanest firms saw the largest declines in share value. In industries known to be long in permits, firms granted the largest allocations were most harmed.

Suggested Citation

  • James B. Bushnell & Howard Chong & Erin T. Mansur, 2009. "Profiting from Regulation: An Event Study of the EU Carbon Market," NBER Working Papers 15572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15572
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marion, Justin & Muehlegger, Erich, 2011. "Fuel tax incidence and supply conditions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1202-1212.
    2. Stocking, Andrew, 2012. "Unintended consequences of price controls: An application to allowance markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 120-136.
    3. Holland, Stephen P. & Moore, Michael R., 2013. "Market design in cap and trade programs: Permit validity and compliance timing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 671-687.
    4. Grossi, Luigi & Waterson, Michael, 2013. "German Energy Market Fallout from the Japanese Earthquake," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 157, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Ralf Martin & Mirabelle Mu?ls & Laure B. de Preux & Ulrich J. Wagner, 2014. "Industry Compensation under Relocation Risk: A Firm-Level Analysis of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2482-2508, August.
    6. Managi, Shunsuke & Okimoto, Tatsuyoshi, 2013. "Does the price of oil interact with clean energy prices in the stock market?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-9.
    7. Nicola De Vivo & Giovanni Marin, 2017. "How neutral is the choice of the allocation mechanism in cap-and-trade schemes? Evidence from the EU-ETS," SEEDS Working Papers 0417, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2017.
    8. Gabriel E. Lade & James Bushnell, 2016. "Fuel Subsidy Pass-Through and Market Structure: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 16-wp570, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    9. Gabriel E. Lade & C.Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell & Aaron Smith, 2016. "Policy Shocks and Market-Based Regulations: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 16-wp565, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    10. Thijs Jong & Oscar Couwenberg & Edwin Woerdman, 2013. "Does the EU ETS Bite? The Impact of Allowance Over-Allocation on Share Prices," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/54, European University Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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