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The effects of rent seeking over tradable pollution permits

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  • Hanley, Nicholas
  • Mackenzie, Ian A

Abstract

The establishment of a tradable permit market requires the regulator to select a level of aggregate emissions and then distribute the associated permits (rent) to specific groups. In most circumstances, these decisions are often politically contentious and frequently influenced by rent seeking behaviour. In this paper, we use a contest model to analyse the effects of rent seeking effort when permits are freely distributed (grandfathered). Rent seeking behaviour can influence both the share of permits which an individual firm receives and also the total supply of permits. This latter impact depends on the responsiveness of the regulator to aggregate rent seeking effort. Using a three-stage game, we show that rent seeking can influence both the distribution of rents and the ex post value of these rents, whilst welfare usually decreases in the responsiveness of the regulator.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanley, Nicholas & Mackenzie, Ian A, 2009. "The effects of rent seeking over tradable pollution permits," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-12, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2009-12
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/1197
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Daniel Guigou & Bruno Lovat & Nicolas Treich, 2017. "Risky rents," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 5(2), pages 151-164, October.
    2. Ian A. MacKenzie, 2009. "Controlling externalities in the presence of rent seeking," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/111, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    3. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2010. "Trade and welfare: Does industrial organization matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 85-87, November.
    4. Ian A. Lange & Sarah Polborn, 2012. "Can Lobbying Encourage Abatement? Designing a New Policy Instrument," CESifo Working Paper Series 3760, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Ian A. MacKenzie, 2015. "Prices versus quantities with distributional rent seeking," Discussion Papers Series 548, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0401-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tradable permit market; rent seeking; initial allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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