Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies

Posted: 28 Aug 2002

See all articles by Robert N. Stavins

Robert N. Stavins

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Resources for the Future; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Resources for the Future

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Abstract

Policy makers and analysts are often faced with situations where it is unclear whether market-based instruments hold real promise of reducing costs, relative to conventional uniform standards. We develop analytic expressions that can be employed with modest amounts of information to estimate the potential cost savings associated with market-based policies, with an application to the environmental policy realm. These simple formula can identify instruments that merit more detailed investigation. We illustrate the use of these results with an application to nitrogen oxides control by electric utilities in the United States.

Keywords: Environment, Policy Instruments, Market-based, Tradable Permits, Pollution Taxes, Uniform Standards

JEL Classification: Q28, Q38, K2, H4

Suggested Citation

Stavins, Robert N. and Newell, Richard G., Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=319562

Robert N. Stavins (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Richard G. Newell

Duke University - Nicholas School of Environment ( email )

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