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Transaction Costs of Upstream Versus Downstream Pricing of CO2 Emissions

Journal article
Authors Jessica Coria
Jurate Jaraite
Published in Environmental and Resource Economics
Volume 72
Issue 4
Pages 965-1001
ISSN 0924-6460
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economics, Environmental Economics Unit
Pages 965-1001
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-018-...
https://www.researchgate.net/public...
Keywords Climate change · CO2 tax · Emissions trading · Firm-level data · EU ETS · Transaction costs · Sweden
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper comparing empirically the transaction costs of the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) required by two environmental regulations aimed to cost-efficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions: a carbon dioxide (CO2) tax and an emissions trading system.We do this in the case of Sweden, where a set of firms are covered by both types of regulations—the Swedish CO2 tax and the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Our results indicate that there is a significant degree of heterogeneity in the transaction costs of the firms in our sample. Moreover, for some of the firms, the transaction costs are high when compared with the actual cost of the CO2 tax and the price of the EU ETS. Furthermore, we find that theMRV costs are lower for CO2 taxation than for the EUETS,which confirms the general viewthat regulating emissions upstream via a CO2 tax yields lower transaction costs vis-á-vis downstream regulation via emissions trading.

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