IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/16120.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Setting the Initial Time-Profile of Climate Policy: The Economics of Environmental Policy Phase-Ins

Author

Listed:
  • Roberton C. Williams III

Abstract

This paper considers the question of under what circumstances a new environmental regulation should "phase in" gradually over time, rather than being immediately implemented at full force. The paper focuses particularly on climate policy, though its insights are more general. It shows that while adjustment costs provide a strong efficiency argument for phasing in a quantity-based regulation (or allowing intertemporal flexibility that creates the equivalent of a phase-in), this argument does not apply for price-based regulation. Indeed, in many cases, it will be more efficient to do just the opposite, setting an initially very high emissions price that then falls as the policy phases in. This difference in results comes not from any fundamental difference between price and quantity policies: under either policy, the efficient quantity of abatement rises over time, while the efficient price stays constant or even falls. But other considerations, such as distributional concerns or monitoring and enforcement issues, may still argue for a gradual phase-in even for a price-based policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberton C. Williams III, 2010. "Setting the Initial Time-Profile of Climate Policy: The Economics of Environmental Policy Phase-Ins," NBER Working Papers 16120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16120
    Note: EEE PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16120.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Manne, Alan & Richels, Richard, 2004. "The impact of learning-by-doing on the timing and costs of CO2 abatement," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 603-619, July.
    2. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2000. "Optimal design of a phase-in emissions trading program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 273-291, February.
    3. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
    4. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. George R. Zodrow, 2019. "Optimal Tax Reform in the Presence of Adjustment Costs," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: George R Zodrow (ed.), TAXATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE Selected Essays of George R. Zodrow, chapter 2, pages 33-58, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2013. "Renewable energy subsidies: Second-best policy or fatal aberration for mitigation?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 217-234.
    2. Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2013. "Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital," CIRED Working Papers hal-00850680, HAL.
    3. Marc A. C. Hafstead & Roberton C. Williams III, 2020. "Jobs and Environmental Regulation," Environmental and Energy Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 192-240.
    4. Roberton C. Williams III & Hal Gordon & Dallas Burtraw & Jared C. Carbone & Richard D. Morgenstern, 2014. "The Initial Incidence of a Carbon Tax Across U.S. States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(4), pages 807-830, December.
    5. Lucas Bretschger & Susanne Soretz, 2022. "Stranded Assets: How Policy Uncertainty affects Capital, Growth, and the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 83(2), pages 261-288, October.
    6. Rozenberg, Julie & Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Transition to clean capital, irreversible investment and stranded assets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6859, The World Bank.
    7. Roberton C. Williams III & Hal Gordon & Dallas Burtraw & Jared C. Carbone & Richard D. Morgenstern, 2015. "The Initial Incidence of a Carbon Tax Across Income Groups," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 68(1), pages 195-214, March.
    8. Kellogg, Ryan, 2018. "Gasoline price uncertainty and the design of fuel economy standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 14-32.
    9. Renaud Coulomb & Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2019. "Optimal Transition from Coal to Gas and Renewable Power Under Capacity Constraints and Adjustment Costs," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 73(2), pages 557-590, June.
    10. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stéphane, 2018. "When starting with the most expensive option makes sense: Optimal timing, cost and sectoral allocation of abatement investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 210-233.
    11. Alena Miftakhova & Clément Renoir, 2021. "Economic Growth and Equity in Anticipation of Climate Policy," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 21/355, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    12. Roberton C. Williams III, 2016. "Environmental Taxation," NBER Working Papers 22303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 1997. "Eficiencia, Equidad y Reestructuración Sectorial del Gasto Público Social," Borradores de Economia 080, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2004. "Climate policies and induced technological change: Impacts and timing of technology subsidies," Memorandum 05/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Amigues, Jean-Pierre & Lafforgue, Gilles & Moreaux, Michel, 2016. "Optimal timing of carbon capture policies under learning-by-doing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 20-37.
    4. Gerlagh , Reyer & Kverndokk , Snorre & Rosendahl , Knut Einar, 2007. "Optimal Timing of Environmental Policy: Interaction Between Environmental Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Memorandum 26/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. David Popp, 2003. "ENTICE: Endogenous Technological Change in the DICE Model of Global Warming," NBER Working Papers 9762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Berglund, Christer & Soderholm, Patrik, 2006. "Modeling technical change in energy system analysis: analyzing the introduction of learning-by-doing in bottom-up energy models," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 1344-1356, August.
    7. Rick Van der Ploeg & Armon Rezai, 2013. "Abandoning Fossil Fuel: How Fast and How Much," OxCarre Working Papers 123, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    8. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2002. "Environmental taxation and regulation," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1471-1545, Elsevier.
    9. Armon Rezai & Frederick Ploeg, 2017. "Second-Best Renewable Subsidies to De-carbonize the Economy: Commitment and the Green Paradox," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 409-434, March.
    10. Gillingham, Kenneth & Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2008. "Modeling endogenous technological change for climate policy analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2734-2753, November.
    11. Tisdell, John G. & Grainger, Corinne, 2008. "An Experimental Economic Analysis of Carbon Trading Options for Australia," 2008 Conference, August 28-29, 2008, Nelson, New Zealand 96661, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    12. Rubin, Edward S. & Azevedo, Inês M.L. & Jaramillo, Paulina & Yeh, Sonia, 2015. "A review of learning rates for electricity supply technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 198-218.
    13. Malte Schwoon & Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "Optimal CO2-abatement with Socio-economic Inertia and Induced Technological Change," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 25-60.
    14. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "How inertia and limited potentials affect the timing of sectoral abatements in optimal climate policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6154, The World Bank.
    15. Armon Rezai & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2017. "Abandoning Fossil Fuel: How Fast and How Much," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(S2), pages 16-44, December.
    16. David Popp, 2004. "R&D Subsidies and Climate Policy: Is There a "Free Lunch"?," NBER Working Papers 10880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Popp, David & Newell, Richard G. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2010. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 873-937, Elsevier.
    18. Louis Kaplow, 2003. "Transition Policy: A Conceptual Framework," NBER Working Papers 9596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Münnich Vass, Miriam, 2017. "Renewable energies cannot compete with forest carbon sequestration to cost-efficiently meet the EU carbon target for 2050," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 164-180.
    20. Anna Creti & Alena Kotelnikova & Guy Meunier & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2018. "Defining the Abatement Cost in Presence of Learning-by-Doing: Application to the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 71(3), pages 777-800, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16120. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.