This paper questions the presumption that transferable licenses are worth more and result in higher welfare. We show that the price of a transferable license may be lower than that of its nontransferable counterpart if the underlying quota is not very severe. However, transferability is preferable to nontransferability if consumer surplus and license revenue have equal weight in the welfare function. We also examine whether licenses will be monopolized by domestic producers with market power. The models have implications for several issues, including the design of pollution permits and how to maximize revenue from ticket sales.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics