Environmental policy with endogenous technology from a game theoretic perspective: The case of the US pulp and paper industry

Bahar Celikkol Erbas, David Gerard Abler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The merits of different types of regulatory tools in eliminating pollution and at the same time inducing innovation have long been an interest of researchers in both environmental economics and industrial organization. Although there is a substantial theoretical literature investigating the potential for various environmental policies to attain these dual goals, this is a challenging empirical problem because every industry has its own inherent characteristics that play an important role in determining the performance of different regulatory tools. The majority of the work to date focuses on pollution abatement while leaving pollution prevention understudied. In most of the literature firms are also assumed to be symmetric. Asymmetries among firms add another degree and level of complexity to their strategic interactions, and affect the performance of different regulatory tools. This paper investigates the performance of two alternative regulatory tools, an emissions performance standard and an emissions tax, in reducing pollution and inducing pollution prevention and abatement R&D in the US pulp and paper industry. We construct a model representing the industry in an asymmetric Cournot duopoly framework, calibrate the model to disaggregated industry data, and run scenarios to replicate the behavior of the firms in an imperfectly competitive output market. Our results suggest that pollution prevention R&D can respond quite differently than abatement R&D to different policy instruments. The results indicate that R&D spillovers among firms play crucial role in technology development and strategies of the firms. Our results also suggest that strategic interactions between firms in an imperfectly competitive industry can have significant impacts of the levels of both types of R&D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-444
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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