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A Review of Markets for Clean Air: The U.S. Acid Rain Program



The book begins with a quote from J.H. Dales’ Pollution, Property, and Prices, "If it is feasible to establish a market to implement a policy, no policy-maker can afford to do without one." This book provides important evidence in support of Dales’ statement. The book is a thorough examination of the first several years of the U.S. Acid Rain Program. This innovative program uses a cap-and-trade approach, rather than the traditional command-and-control approach, to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The book offers substantial evidence of the program’s success. The analysis is of both practical and scientific importance. From a practical viewpoint, the acid rain program is an ambitious effort to reduce a major pollutant. It is important for us to understand whether the program is successful and how it might be improved. From a scientific viewpoint, the authors’ analysis provides a framework and methodology for evaluating similar programs. There is much we can learn about effective regulation from the analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cramton, 2000. "A Review of Markets for Clean Air: The U.S. Acid Rain Program," Papers of Peter Cramton 00jel, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 31 Aug 2000.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:00jel

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    Cited by:

    1. Antelo, Manel & Bru, Lluís, 2009. "Permit markets, market power, and the trade-off between efficiency and revenue raising," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 320-333, November.

    More about this item


    Auctions; Environmental Auctions; Cap-and-Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions

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