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Economic Ideas for a Complex Climate Policy Regime

  • Burtraw, Dallas


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Woerman, Matt


    (Resources for the Future)

Registered author(s):

    The parsimony of economic theory provides general insights into an otherwise complex world. However, the most straightforward organizing principles from theory have not often taken hold in environmental policy or in the decentralized climate policy regime that is unfolding. One reason is inadequate recognition of a variety of institutions. This paper addresses three ways the standard model may inadequately anticipate the role of institutions in the actual implementation of climate policy, with a US focus: multilayered authority across jurisdictions, the impressionistic rather than deterministic influence of prices through subsidiary jurisdictions, and the complementary role of prices and regulation in this context. The economic approach is built on the premise that incentives affect behavior. We suggest an important pathway of influence for economic theory is to infuse incentive-based thinking into the conventional regulatory framework. In a complex policy regime, incentives can be shaped by shadow prices as well as market prices.

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    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-13-03-rev.

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    Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-03-rev
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    1. Kerr, Suzi & Newell, Richard, 2001. "Policy-Induced Technology Adoption: Evidence from the U.S. Lead Phasedown," Discussion Papers dp-01-14, Resources For the Future.
    2. Spencer Banzhaf, H. & Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2004. "Efficient emission fees in the US electricity sector," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 317-341, September.
    3. Gruenspecht, Howard K, 1982. "Differentiated Regulation: The Case of Auto Emissions Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 328-31, May.
    4. Dallas Burtraw & Art Fraas & Nathan Richardson, 2011. "Policy Monitor--Greenhouse Gas Regulation under the Clean Air Act: A Guide for Economists," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 293-313, Summer.
    5. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Kahn, Danny, 2009. "A Symmetric Safety Valve," Discussion Papers dp-09-06, Resources For the Future.
    6. Maloney, Michael T & Brady, Gordon L, 1988. "Capital Turnover and Marketable Pollution Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 203-26, April.
    7. Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2000. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521660839.
      • Ellerman,A. Denny & Joskow,Paul L. & Schmalensee,Richard & Montero,Juan-Pablo & Bailey,Elizabeth M., 2005. "Markets for Clean Air," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023894.
    8. Pablo del Río & Xavier Labandeira, 2008. "Barriers to the introduction of market-based instruments in climate policies: an integrated theoretical framework," Working Papers 0805, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    9. Roberton C. Williams III, 2010. "Growing State-Federal Conflicts in Environmental Policy: The Role of Market-based Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism, pages 1092-1099 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Nelson, Randy A & Tietenberg, Tom & Donihue, Michael R, 1993. "Differential Environmental Regulation: Effects on Electric Utility Capital Turnover and Emissions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 368-73, May.
    11. Shobe, William M. & Burtraw, Dallas, 2012. "Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World," Discussion Papers dp-12-04, Resources For the Future.
    12. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn, 2009. "Efficient Pollution Regulation: Getting the Prices Right," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1714-39, December.
    13. Cameron Hepburn, 2010. "Environmental policy, government, and the market," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 117-136, Summer.
    14. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-48, August.
    15. Jonathan Levine & Aseem Inam, 2004. "The Market for Transportation-Land Use Integration: Do Developers Want Smarter Growth than Regulations Allow?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 409-427, November.
    16. Pearce, David, 2006. "The political economy of an energy tax: The United Kingdom's Climate Change Levy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 149-158, March.
    17. Burtraw, Dallas & Woerman, Matt & Paul, Anthony, 2012. "Retail electricity price savings from compliance flexibility in GHG standards for stationary sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 67-77.
    18. Burtraw, Dallas & Fraas, Arthur G. & Richardson, Nathan, 2011. "Greenhouse Gas Regulation under the Clean Air Act: A Guide for Economists," Discussion Papers dp-11-08, Resources For the Future.
    19. Dallas Burtraw & William Shobe, 2008. "State and Local Climate Policy under a National Emissions Floor," Working Papers 2008-05, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.
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