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The Efficiency and Robustness of Allowance Banking in the U.S. Acid Rain Program

A. Denny Ellerman and Juan-Pablo Montero

Year: 2007
Volume: Volume 28
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol28-No4-3
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Abstract:
This paper provides an empirical evaluation of the efficiency of allowance banking in the nationwide market for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission allowances that was created by the U.S. Acid Rain Program. We develop a model of efficient banking, select appropriate parameter values, and evaluate the efficiency of observed temporal pattern of abatement based on aggregate data from the first eight years of the Acid Rain Program. Contrary to the general opinion that banking in this program has been excessive, we find that it has been reasonably efficient. We also identify the erroneous assumptions underlying the earlier view and the conditions required for efficient banking to exist independently of changes in the counterfactual, an attribute we call robustness. These results show that firms use banking provisions in a rational and predictable way and that, at least in the US Acid Rain Program, there is no support for the often expressed concern that banked permits will be used all at once to create emissions spikes.



Market Power in Pollution Permit Markets

Juan-Pablo Montero

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Special Issue #2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-NoSI2-6
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Abstract:
As with other commodity markets, markets for trading pollution permits have not been immune to market power concerns. In this paper, I survey the existing literature on market power in permit trading but also contribute with some new results and ideas. I start the survey with Hahn�s (1984) dominant-firm (static) model that I then extend to the case in which there are two or more strategic firms that may also strategically interact in the output market, to the case in which current permits can be stored for future use (as in most existing and proposed market designs), to the possibility of collusive behavior, and to the case in which permits are auctioned off instead of allocated for free to firms. I finish the paper with a review of empirical evidence on market power, if any, with particular attention to the U.S. sulfur market and the Southern California NOx market.





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