Market-based Emissions Regulation When Damages Vary Across Sources: What Are the Gains from Differentiation?
Much of the air pollution currently regulated under U.S. emissions trading programs is non-uniformly mixed, meaning that health and environmental damages depend on the location and dispersion characteristics of the sources. Existing policy regimes ignore this fact. Emissions are penalized at a single permit price, regardless of the location of the source. In theory, differentiated policies can be designed to accommodate non-uniformly mixed pollution using emissions penalties that vary with emissions damages. Under perfect certainty, damage-based policy differentiation is unambiguously welfare improving. In the presence of uncertainty about damages and abatement costs, differentiated policies need not welfare dominate simpler, undifferentiated designs. Using rich data from a major U.S. emissions trading program, we estimate the welfare impacts of policy differentiation. Surprisingly, we find that differentiated emissions trading results in welfare loss as compared to the undifferentiated trading regime that was implemented. This result manifests because ex post realized abatement costs appear to have exceeded expectations. We further show that, in this context, a differentiated price-based policy welfare dominates the differentiated quantity-based alternative.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Fishelson, Gideon, 1976. "Emission control policies under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-197, October.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
- Richard D. Horan & James S. Shortle, 2005. "When Two Wrongs Make a Right: Second-Best Point-Nonpoint Trading Ratios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 340-352.
- Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
- R. Scott Farrow & Martin T. Schultz & Pinar Celikkol & George L. Van Houtven, 2005. "Pollution Trading in Water Quality Limited Areas: Use of Benefits Assessment and Cost-Effective Trading Ratios," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
- Katrin Millock & Céline Nauges & Thomas Sterner, 2004. "Environmental Taxes: A Comparison of French and Swedish Experience from Taxes on Industrial Air Pollution," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(1), pages 30-34, 04.
- Mendelsohn, Robert, 1986. "Regulating heterogeneous emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 301-312, December.
- Tom Tietenberg, 1995. "Tradeable permits for pollution control when emission location matters: What have we learned?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 95-113, March.
- Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, November.
- Peter A. Diamond, 1973. "Consumption Externalities and Imperfect Corrective Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(2), pages 526-538, Autumn.
- Muller Nicholas Z, 2011. "Linking Policy to Statistical Uncertainty in Air Pollution Damages," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, June.
- Stavins, Robert N., 2005. "Lessons Learned from SO2 Allowance Trading," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(1).
- 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 669-685, September.
- Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000.
"Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
- Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Cropper, Maureen & Carlson, Curtis, 1998. "Sulfur-Dioxide Control By Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Discussion Papers dp-98-44-rev, Resources For the Future.
- Carlson, Curtis & Burtraw, Dallas & Cropper, Maureen & Palmer, Karen L., 1998. "Sulfur dioxide control by electric utilities : what are the gains from trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1966, The World Bank.
- Meredith Fowlie & Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur, 2012.
"What Do Emissions Markets Deliver and to Whom? Evidence from Southern California's NOx Trading Program,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 965-993, April.
- 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.
- Fullerton, Don & McDermott, Shaun P. & Caulkins, Jonathan P., 1997.
"Sulfur Dioxide Compliance of a Regulated Utility,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 32-53, September.
- Don Fullerton & Shaun P. McDermott & Jonathan P. Caulkins, 1996. "Sulfur Dioxide Compliance of a Regulated Utility," NBER Working Papers 5542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2012. "Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions," NBER Working Papers 18267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Deschenes, Olivier & Greenstone, Michael & Shapiro, Joseph S., 2013. "Defensive Investments and the Demand for Air Quality: Evidence from the NOx Budget Program and Ozone Reductions," IZA Discussion Papers 7557, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Joshua Linn, 2008. "Technological Modifications in the Nitrogen Oxides Tradable Permit Program," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 153-176.
- Meredith Fowlie, 2010. "Emissions Trading, Electricity Restructuring, and Investment in Pollution Abatement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 837-869, June.
- Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-1739, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)