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Environmental policy, technology adoption and the size distribution of firms

Journal article
Authors Jessica Coria
Efthymia Kyriakopoulou
Published in Energy Economics
Volume 72
Pages 470-485
ISSN 0140-9883
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 470-485
Language en
Keywords Environmental regulations; Energy efficiency; Size distribution; Emission taxes; Emission standards; Performance standards
Subject categories Economics


The potential impacts of strict environmental policies on production costs and firms' competitiviness are central to the choice of which policy to implement. However, not all the industries nor all firms within an industry are affected in the same way. In this paper, we investigate the effects of emission taxes, uniform emission standards, and performance standards on the size distribution of firms. Our results indicate that, unlike emission taxes and performance standards, emission standards introduce regulatory asymmetries favoring small firms. On the contrary, emission taxes and performance standards reduce to a lower extent profits of larger firms but they do modify the optimal scale of firms. We also show that when the regulatory asymmetries created by emissions standards are taken into account, the profitability of emissions reducing technologies is higher under emission standards than under market-based instruments.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-08-19