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Firm competitiveness and the European union emissions trading scheme

  • Chan, Hei Sing
  • Li, Shanjun
  • Zhang, Fan
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    The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme is the first international cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide and the largest carbon pricing regime in the world. A significant concern over the Emissions Trading Scheme has been the potential impact on the competitiveness of industry. Using data on 5,873 firms in ten European countries during 2001-2009, this paper assesses the impact on three variables through which the effects on firm competitiveness may manifest -- unit material costs, employment and revenue. The analysis focuses on the three most heavily-emitting industries under the program -- power, cement, and iron and steel. Empirical results indicate that the Emissions Trading Scheme has had different impacts across these three sectors. Although no impacts are found on any of the three variables in the cement and iron and steel industries, a positive effect is found on both material costs and revenue in the power sector. The effect on material costs likely reflects fuel-switching to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, while that on revenue may be partly due to cost pass-through to consumers in a market that is less exposed to competition outside the Europen Union. Overall the findings do not substantiate concerns over carbon leakage, job loss or industry competitiveness during the study period.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6662.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6662
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    1. Anger, Niels & Oberndorfer, Ulrich, 2008. "Firm performance and employment in the EU emissions trading scheme: An empirical assessment for Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 12-22, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Jurate Jaraite & Corrado Di Maria, 2011. "Efficiency, Productivity and Environmental Policy: A Case Study of Power Generation in the EU," Working Papers 2011.19, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521196475 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000. "Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
    6. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    7. Nathaniel O. Keohane, 2003. "What Did the Market Buy? Cost Savings Under the U. S. Tradeable Permits Program for Sulfur Dioxide," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm437, Yale School of Management.
    8. Jan Abrell & Anta Ndoye Faye & Georg Zachmann, 2011. "Assessing the impact of the EU ETS using firm level data," Working Papers of BETA 2011-15, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. A. Ellerman & Barbara Buchner, 2008. "Over-Allocation or Abatement? A Preliminary Analysis of the EU ETS Based on the 2005–06 Emissions Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 267-287, October.
    10. Demailly, Damien & Quirion, Philippe, 2008. "European Emission Trading Scheme and competitiveness: A case study on the iron and steel industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 2009-2027, July.
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