The Economic Geography of European Carbon Market Trading

27 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2008 Last revised: 24 May 2014

See all articles by Eric R. W. Knight

Eric R. W. Knight

University of Sydney Business School

Date Written: November 17, 2008


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.

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

JEL Classification: G12, G15, G18, K00

Suggested Citation

Knight, Eric R. W., The Economic Geography of European Carbon Market Trading (November 17, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Eric R. W. Knight (Contact Author)

University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Cnr. of Codrington and Rose Streets
Sydney, NSW 2006

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics