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The Feasibility of Marketable Emissions Permits in the United States

Noll, Roger G. (1981) The Feasibility of Marketable Emissions Permits in the United States. Social Science Working Paper, 397. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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Economists have long advocated the use of economic incentives, rather than detailed regulations, as a means for combatting environmental pollution. In the late 1970s, environmental regulators in the United States began experimenting with one such method—emissions permits that, within important limits, can be traded among sources of pollution. This paper explores the feasibility of an extreme version of the marketable permits approach, one in which all source-specific regulations are replaced with tradable emissions permits. First, the general argument for a marketable permits system is presented, including a discussion of the legal procedures that are required by each of the major alternative methods for effecting improvements in environmental quality. Then, the implementation problems of a permits market are explored. Because this is partly an empirical problem, this analysis is presented in the context of an example: particulate sulfates in the Los Angeles atmosphere. Finally, some specific design possibilities are presented, and compared to the early experiments with tradable permits.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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Additional Information:Prepared for the Regulation Conference, International Institute of Management Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, July 1981. The research reported in this paper was supported by a grant from the California Air Resources Board. The author gratefully acknowledges the helpful comments and criticisms on an earlier draft by Glen R. Cass and Robert W. Hahn. Published as Noll, Roger G. "The feasibility of marketable emissions permits in the United States." Public Sector Economics. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1983. 189-225.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
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California Air Resources BoardUNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:397
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171004-163547120
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82097
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:05 Oct 2017 00:10
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:50

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