IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Taking up the Slack: Lessons from a Cap-and-Trade Program in Chicago

  • Evans, David A.

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Kruger, Joseph A.

The Emissions Reduction Market System (ERMS), an emissions-trading program for volatile organic materials (VOMs) in Chicago, Illinois, has been characterized by emissions significantly below the annual allocation of emission allowances, allowance prices much lower than predicted, limited trading, and emission allowances that expire unused. Essentially, it appears that a fundamental prerequisite for a tradable allowance program is missing—there is no scarcity of allowances. We evaluate a variety of hypotheses that may explain why the ERMS cap does not appear to be affecting abatement behavior and identify three that contributed to the lack of scarcity in the ERMS program: (1) a baseline process that inflated the cap; (2) hazardous air pollutant regulations that contributed to VOM reductions at some sources; and (3) numerous facility shutdowns. We conclude that the ERMS experience illustrates the inherent unpredictability of economic, regulatory, and other factors when setting an emissions target; a conclusion that resonates with the recent experience of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme. This argues for gathering reliable emissions data, developing sophisticated emissions projections, and making transparent assumptions about the impacts of other policies and regulations during the program planning and design phase. However, even with all these attributes, it is still difficult to anticipate every possible outcome. Thus, it is desirable to have robust mechanisms to address the uncertainties of emissions-trading markets and to make midcourse corrections if necessary. Finally, we offer some comments on how to think about the results of ERMS versus a hypothetical command and control program that might have been designed to reach the same environmental outcome.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-06-36.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-06-36.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 25 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-06-36
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rff.org

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Grubb, M. & Neuhoff, K., 2006. "Allocation and competitiveness in the EU emissions trading scheme: policy overview," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0645, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Montero, Juan-Pablo & Sanchez, Jose Miguel & Katz, Ricardo, 2002. "A Market-Based Environmental Policy Experiment in Chile," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 267-87, April.
  3. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," Discussion Papers dp-00-47, Resources For the Future.
  4. Cameron Hepburn & Michael Grubb & Karsten Neuhoff & Felix Matthes & Maximilien Tse, 2006. "Auctioning of EU ETS phase II allowances: how and why?," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 137-160, January.
  5. Foster, Vivien & Hahn, Robert W, 1995. "Designing More Efficient Markets: Lessons from Los Angeles Smog Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 19-48, April.
  6. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
  7. David Weil & Archon Fung & Mary Graham & Elena Fagotto, 2006. "The effectiveness of regulatory disclosure policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 155-181.
  8. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Krupnick, Alan & Evans, David & Toth, Russell, 2005. "Economics of Pollution Trading for SO2 and NOx," Discussion Papers dp-05-05, Resources For the Future.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-06-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.