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Transaction costs and tradable permits: Empirical evidence from the EU emissions trading scheme

  • Heindl, Peter

In this paper, transaction costs in the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) are examined empirically based on survey data from German companies. Transaction costs from measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions, permit trading and general informational costs are considered. Transaction costs from MRV and permit trading are of non-linear form and dependent on annual emission and trading volumes based on OLS and nonparametric estimation. As a consequence of non-linear transaction costs, welfare losses occur compared to a first-best setup under zero transaction costs. In practice, smaller emitters will emit less (abate more) compared to larger emitters and vice versa due to economies of scale in the management of emissions trading. The results further imply that optimal firm size might be influenced by transaction costs in the EU ETS because of relatively high average transaction costs amongst smaller emitters. Overall annual transaction costs in the EU ETS in Germany are estimated to be EUR 8.7 million.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 12-021.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12021
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  1. Downing, Paul B. & White, Lawrence J., 1986. "Innovation in pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 18-29, March.
  2. Foley, Duncan K., 1970. "Economic equilibrium with costly marketing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 276-291, September.
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  5. Dahlman, Carl J, 1979. "The Problem of Externality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 141-62, April.
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  7. Klaes, Matthias, 2000. "The History of the Concept of Transaction Costs: Neglected Aspects," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 191-216, June.
  8. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 1998. "Marketable pollution permits with uncertainty and transaction costs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 27-50, March.
  9. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  10. Evy Crals & Lode Vereeck, 2005. "Taxes, Tradable Rights and Transaction Costs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 199-223, September.
  11. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355, April.
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  13. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
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