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Upstream versus Downstream Implementation of Climate Policy

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  • Erin T. Mansur

Abstract

This chapter examines the tradeoffs of regulating upstream (e.g., coal, natural gas, and refined petroleum product producers) versus regulating downstream (e.g., direct sources of greenhouse gases (GHG)). In general, regulating at the source provides polluters with incentives to choose among more opportunities to abate pollution. This chapter develops a simple theoretical model that shows why this added flexibility achieves the lowest overall costs. I broaden the theory to incorporate several reasons why these potential gains from trade may not be realized--transactions costs, leakage, and offsets--in the context of selecting the vertical segment of regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Erin T. Mansur, 2010. "Upstream versus Downstream Implementation of Climate Policy," NBER Working Papers 16116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16116
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
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    5. Hobbs, Benjamin F. & Bushnell, James & Wolak, Frank A., 2010. "Upstream vs. downstream CO2 trading: A comparison for the electricity context," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3632-3643, July.
    6. Fischer, Carolyn & Fox, Alan K., 2009. "Comparing Policies to Combat Emissions Leakage: Border Tax Adjustments versus Rebates," Discussion Papers dp-09-02, Resources For the Future.
    7. Ann Wolverton & Don Fullerton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 238-242, May.
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    10. Chiu, Stephen & Mansley, Edward C. & Morgan, John, 1998. "Choosing the right battlefield for the war on drugs: an irrelevance result," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 107-111, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Buscemi, Antonino & Yallwe, Alem Hagos, 2011. "It is time to re-think on environment, energy and economics (E3)," MPRA Paper 30998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Christensen, Adam & Siddiqui, Sauleh, 2015. "Fuel price impacts and compliance costs associated with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 614-624.
    3. Fan, Jin & He, Haonan & Wu, Yanrui, 2016. "Personal carbon trading and subsidies for hybrid electric vehicles," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 164-173.
    4. Feijoo, Felipe & Das, Tapas K., 2014. "Design of Pareto optimal CO2 cap-and-trade policies for deregulated electricity networks," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 371-383.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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