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Emissions Trading: ERCs or Allowances

  • Donald N. Dewees

There are two principal choices of the baseline from which emissions trading may take place: 1) emission reduction credits (ERCs) in which the baseline is existing regulations which are often activity-based; and 2) cap-and-trade which specified the total allowable emissions. This paper examines the effects of these two tradable permit systems on marginal and average costs for the firm, using electricity generation as an example. The ERC system subsidises the activity level to which it is tied, failing to incorporate the full cost of external harm into the product price. The cap-and-trade system is more efficient.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/UT-ECIPA-DEWEES-00-01.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number dewees-00-01.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:dewees-00-01
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  1. Michael Ari Prager & Thomas H. Klier & Richard H. Mattoon, 1996. "A mixed bag: assessment of market performance and firm trading behavior in the NOx RECLAIM program," Working Paper Series, Regional Economic Issues WP-96-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Reinert, Kenneth A. & Ratick, Samuel J., 1988. "A note on estimating a long-run average cost curve for flue gas desulfurization," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 30-34, March.
  3. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Helfand, Gloria E, 1991. "Standards versus Standards: The Effects of Different Pollution Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 622-34, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
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