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Prices vs. quantities: Technology choice, uncertainty and welfare

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    This paper shows that tradable emissions permits and an emissions tax affect the firms' technology choice differently under uncertainty. A tax encourages the most flexible technology if and only if stochastic costs and the equilibrium permit price have sufficiently strong positive covariance, compared with the variance in consumer demand for the good produced. Moreover, the firms' technology choices are socially optimal under tradable emissions permits, but not under an emissions tax. Hence, modeling endogenous technology choice provides an argument in favor of tradable emissions permits as compared with emissions taxes.

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    Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 677.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:677
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    1. Frank C. Krysiak & Iris Maria Oberauner, 2008. "Environmental Policy à la Carte: Letting Firms Choose their Regulation," Working papers 2008/03, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    2. Zhao, Jinhua, 2003. "Irreversible abatement investment under cost uncertainties: tradable emission permits and emissions charges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2765-2789, December.
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    5. Mills, David E, 1984. "Demand Fluctuations and Endogenous Firm Flexibility," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 55-71, September.
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    7. V. Denicolo, 1997. "Pollution-Reducing Innovations Under Taxes or Permits," Working Papers 281, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    8. Requate, Till & Unold, Wolfram, 2003. "Environmental policy incentives to adopt advanced abatement technology:: Will the true ranking please stand up?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 125-146, February.
    9. Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2001. "Taxes and quotas for a stock pollutant with multiplicative uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 91-114, October.
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    11. Weitzman, Martin L, 1978. "Optimal Rewards for Economic Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 683-91, September.
    12. Pizer, William & Newell, Richard, 1998. "Regulating Stock Externalities Under Uncertainty," Discussion Papers dp-99-10-rev, Resources For the Future.
    13. Kon, Yoshinori, 1983. "Capital Input Choice under Price Uncertainty: A Putty-Clay Technology Case," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 183-97, February.
    14. 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 669-85, September.
    15. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1984. "Endogenous technical change and environmental regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 202-207, September.
    16. Meredith Fowlie, 2010. "Emissions Trading, Electricity Restructuring, and Investment in Pollution Abatement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 837-69, June.
    17. Requate, Till, 2005. "Dynamic incentives by environmental policy instruments--a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 175-195, August.
    18. Kaboski, Joseph P., 2005. "Factor price uncertainty, technology choice and investment delay," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 509-527, March.
    19. Karp, Larry & Zhang, Jiangfeng, 2006. "Regulation with anticipated learning about environmental damages," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 259-279, May.
    20. Jaffe Adam B. & Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Dynamic Incentives of Environmental Regulations: The Effects of Alternative Policy Instruments on Technology Diffusion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S43-S63, November.
    21. Krysiak, Frank C., 2008. "Prices vs. quantities: The effects on technology choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1275-1287, June.
    22. Magat, Wesley A., 1978. "Pollution control and technological advance: A dynamic model of the firm," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, March.
    23. 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.
    24. Hoel, Michael & Karp, Larry, 2002. "Taxes versus quotas for a stock pollutant," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 367-384, November.
    25. Adam Jaffe & Richard Newell & Robert Stavins, 2002. "Environmental Policy and Technological Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 41-70, June.
    26. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
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