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Markets versus Regulation: The Efficiency and Distributional Impacts of U.S. Climate Policy Proposals

Sebastian Rausch and Valerie J. Karplus

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.SI1.11
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Abstract:
Regulatory measures have proven the favored approach to climate change mitigation in the U.S., while market-based policies have gained little traction. Using a model that resolves the U.S. economy by region, income category, and sector-specific technology deployment opportunities, this paper studies the magnitude and distribution of economic impacts under regulatory versus market-based approaches. We quantify heterogeneity in the national response to regulatory policies, including a fuel economy standard and a clean or renewable electricity standard, and compare these to a cap-and-trade system targeting carbon dioxide or all greenhouse gases. We find that the regulatory policies substantially exceed the cost of a cap-and-trade system at the national level. We further show that the regulatory policies yield large cost disparities across regions and income groups, which are exaggerated by the difficulty of implementing revenue recycling provisions under regulatory policy designs. Keywords: Energy modeling, Climate policy, Regulatory policies, Electricity, Transportation, General Equilibrium Modeling



Herding Cats: Firm Non-Compliance in China’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Program

Valerie J. Karplus, Xingyao Shen, and Da Zhang

Year: 2020
Volume: Volume 41
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.4.vkar
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Abstract:
We study firm responses to a large-scale energy efficiency program in China, focusing on the quality of reporting and compliance outcomes. Using statistical methods to detect data manipulation in compliance reports, we find evidence that firms deliberately exaggerated performance during the first phase of the program (2006-2010), suggesting the high compliance rate was overstated. In its second phase (2011-2015), the number of firms in the program expanded by an order of magnitude, and the compliance rate decreased. We develop a simple model to show how the observed increase in non-compliance is consistent with reduced misreporting. Statistical tests find no evidence of manipulation in the second phase. Larger firms, especially those not controlled by the state, and firms in cities with relatively low growth were more likely to report non-compliance, which suggests a role for state control and local protectionism in shaping compliance decisions. Based on our findings, we offer several lessons for future program design.





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