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Emissions Control and the Regulation of Product Markets: The Case of Automobiles

Author

Listed:
  • Rasha Ahmed

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Kathleen Segerson

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

The paper investigates alternative policies to regulate emissions from polluting product markets, specifically considering the case of the automobiles market. The two policies we consider are: a quota that limits the quantity produced of the polluting model and a more flexible average efficiency standard that requires a minimum energy efficiency across all models produced by a firm, similar to the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. We use a duopoly model of vertical differentiation where firms produce both an economy (i.e., low polluting) version and a luxury (i.e., high polluting) version of a given product. We show that while a quota can raise firm profit over a certain range, CAFE always reduces firm profit relative to the pre-regulation. We also show that while the quota reduces emissions, it is possible that emissions increase under CAFE. The optimal policy choice will depend on the magnitude of unit damages. We show that when unit damages are sufficiently high, the quota policy is more efficient than the average efficiency standard. This suggests that instead of tightening CAFE to limit damages from emissions, policy makers can shift to a quota policy which is both welfare enhancing and more profitable for firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasha Ahmed & Kathleen Segerson, 2007. "Emissions Control and the Regulation of Product Markets: The Case of Automobiles," Working papers 2007-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2007-40
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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2007-40.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed, Rasha & Segerson, Kathleen, 2011. "Collective voluntary agreements to eliminate polluting products," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 572-588, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    automobiles market; emission control; green markets; energy/fuel efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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