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The Economic Geography of European Carbon Market Trading


Eric R. W. Knight


University of Oxford

November 17, 2008


Abstract:     
The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the world’s first regional carbon trading market. Its objective is to link European countries around a common price for carbon as a step towards helping the global economy transition to a low-carbon production base.

This article is one of the first quantitative econometric attempts to understand how a carbon price operates across different economies. We find that the economic impact of a carbon price varies depending on the underlying energy market structure where the carbon price is imposed. This impact is much stronger than institutional differences associated with the volume of free carbon allowances and the carbon intensity of energy technologies.

By examining the role of underlying energy market structures on the role of carbon pricing, this paper contributes to an emerging academic literature on the economic geography of carbon markets. This is relevant to governments around the world which are considering a carbon price in economies with unique energy market legacies.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: carbon trading, climate change, economic geography, market structure, policy staging, corporate environmental performance

JEL Classification: G12, G15, G18, K00

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Date posted: November 20, 2008 ; Last revised: May 24, 2014

Suggested Citation

Knight, Eric R. W., The Economic Geography of European Carbon Market Trading (November 17, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1302982 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1302982

Contact Information

Eric R. W. Knight (Contact Author)
University of Oxford ( email )
Oxford University Centre for the Environment
South Parks Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3QY
United Kingdom
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