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Pricing Strategies under Emissions Trading: An Experimental Analysis

  • Wråke, Markus
  • Myers, Erica
  • Mandell, Svante
  • Holt, Charles
  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

An important feature in the design of an emissions trading program is how emissions allowances are initially distributed into the market. In a competitive market the choice between an auction and free allocation should, according to economic theory, not have any influence on firms’ production choices nor on consumer prices. However, many observers expect the method of allocation to affect product prices. This paper reports on the use of experimental methods to investigate behavior with respect to how prices will be determined under a cap-and-trade program. Participants initially display a variety of pricing strategies. However, given a simple economic setting in which earnings depend on this behavior, we find that subjects learn to consider the value of allowances and overall behavior moves toward that predicted by economic theory.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-08-49.

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Date of creation: 23 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-49
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  1. Binmore, Kenneth & Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," NBER Working Papers 5967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams III, Roberton C. & Burtraw, Dallas, 1999. "The cost-effectiveness of alternative instruments for environmental protection in a second-best setting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 329-360, June.
  4. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 4897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fell, Harrison, 2008. "EU-ETS and Nordic Electricity: A CVAR Approach," Discussion Papers dp-08-31, Resources For the Future.
  6. Bovenberg, A.L. & de Mooij, R.A., 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Other publications TiSEM 4b32deaa-ec2f-4de7-b59b-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521023894 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Plott, Charles R, 1983. "Externalities and Corrective Policies in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 106-27, March.
  9. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  10. Irwin, Julie R, et al, 1998. "Payoff Dominance vs. Cognitive Transparency in Decision Making," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 272-85, April.
  11. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
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