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Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World

Climate change policy analysis has focused almost exclusively on national policy and even on harmonizing climate policies across countries, implicitly assuming that the harmonization of climate policies at the subnational level would be mandated or guaranteed. We argue that the design and implementation of climate policy in a federal union will diverge in important ways from policy design in a unitary government. National climate policies built on the assumption of a unitary model of governance are unlikely to achieve the expected outcome due to interactions with policy choices made at the subnational level. In a federal system, the information and incentives generated by a national policy must pass through various levels of subnational fiscal and regulatory policy. Effective policy design must recognize both the constraints and opportunities presented by a federal structure of government. Furthermore, policies that take advantage of the federal structure of government can improve climate governance outcomes.

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File URL: http://econ.ccps.virginia.edu/RePEc_docs/ceps_docs/RethinkingEnvFederalism_wp12-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Studies in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.

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Date of creation: 18 Jan 2012
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Publication status: Published in Climate Change Economics
Handle: RePEc:vac:wpaper:wp12-01
Note: Forthcoming in Climate Change Economics
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  1. Paul Missios & Ida Ferrara & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2011. "Inter-regional Competition, Comparative Advantage, and Environmental Federalism," Working Papers 027, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ostrom, Elinor, 2009. "A polycentric approach for coping with climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5095, The World Bank.
  3. De Perthuis, Christian & Convery, Frank J. & Ellerman, Denny, 2010. "Pricing carbon : the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10174, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Alm, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2007. "Designing economic instruments for the environment in a decentralized fiscal system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4379, The World Bank.
  5. Wallace Oates, 2005. "Toward A Second-Generation Theory of Fiscal Federalism," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 349-373, August.
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  8. James Bushnell & Carla Peterman & Catherine Wolfram, 2008. "Local Solutions to Global Problems: Climate Change Policies and Regulatory Jurisdiction," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 175-193, Summer.
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  10. Arimura, Toshi H., 2002. "An Empirical Study of the SO2 Allowance Market: Effects of PUC Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 271-289, September.
  11. John R. Swinton, 2002. "The Potential for Cost Savings in the Sulfur Dioxide Allowance Market: Empirical Evidence from Florida," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 390-404.
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  13. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
  14. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  15. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521196475 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Lawrence H. Goulder & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "Challenges from State-Federal Interactions in US Climate Change Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 253-57, May.
  18. Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Shobe, William & Smith, Vernon & Winn, Abel, 2009. "The design, testing and implementation of Virginia's NOx allowance auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 190-200, February.
  19. Strumpf, Koleman S, 2002. " Does Government Decentralization Increase Policy Innovation?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(2), pages 207-41.
  20. Dallas Burtraw & Karen Palmer, 2008. "Compensation rules for climate policy in the electricity sector," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 819-847.
  21. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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