public choice and environmental regulation


public choice and environmental regulation

Tradable Permit Systems in the United States and CO2 Taxation in Europe

9781858986289 Edward Elgar Publishing
Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, Professor of Comparative Politics, Aarhus University, Denmark
Publication Date: 1998 ISBN: 978 1 85898 628 9 Extent: 240 pp
Gert Tinggaard Svendsen offers a detailed and comprehensive study of two alternative methods for controlling CO2 emissions – tradable permits and taxation – using examples of varying success from the United States and Europe.

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What is the appropriate design for environmental regulation? Gert Tinggaard Svendsen sheds new light on the appropriate mix of economic instruments to implement environmental regulation in the context of the world-wide attempts to abate CO2 emissions.

Gert Tinggaard Svendsen offers a detailed and comprehensive study of two alternative methods for controlling CO2 emissions – tradable permits and taxation – using examples of varying success from the United States and Europe. He applies a blend of environmental economic theory and public choice theory to analyse these methods and reveals that they both have merits. He proposes a design incorporating the best features of the two approaches because it is both cost-effective and politically and administratively feasible. In the case of C02 regulation, a CO2 permit market based on the US experience with free historical emissions should be applied in relation to industry, electric utilities and environmental organisations. The author proposes that a CO2 tax should be applied to non-organized interests, such as households and the transport sector, based on the EU experience. In particular, these policy recommendations are applied to potential CO2 permit markets in Europe and the United States.

The interdisciplinary approach and the resulting policy recommendations make this book relevant to policymakers and academics across the social sciences. It will be particularly pertinent to those interested in environmental economics and public choice economics.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book is a valuable resource for policymakers, administrators, academics, and even for economic students. It provides a framework for understanding the theory and mechanics of markets in environmental quality and the political economy of incentive-based policy approaches. . . . The book’s interdisciplinary approach and public choice orientation makes it valuable reading for policymakers as well as academic analysts. The highly detailed organizational structure of the book should recommend it even to the busy policymaker. . . . The book is a well-organized survey of the subject. It will be helpful to those policymakers who need it most and useful for economists and public choice specialists who might also find it an important resource for graduate classes.’
– Gordon L. Brady, Public Choice

‘The book’s empirical emphasis is on the regulatory experience with tradable permit systems in the United States. Svendsen researched all existing fields so that the book provides a comprehensive overview of the regulatory experiences and difficulties with emissions trading. He presents the material in a systematic and concise way, so that the reader will find an up-to-date review of US experience.’
– Mikael Skou Andersen, Environment

‘Svendsen provides a comprehensive description and assessment of the actual experience with systems of tradable permits for environmental management. Moreover, he puts this treatment in a public-choice framework so that we can understand why policymakers in Europe have chosen green taxes, while their counterparts in the United States have opted for systems of tradable permits. The book is a valuable source for a basic understanding of the theory, the mechanics and the political economy of incentive-based policy instruments.’
– Wallace E. Oates, University of Maryland, and Resources for the Future, US

‘By using an interesting blend of public choice theory and neoclassical economics to explain why pollution control programs relying on taxes or permits have adopted particular design features, this book fills a neglected niche in the literature. The author has an excellent command over the programs about which he writes.’
– Tom Tietenberg, Colby College, Maine, US
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Public Choice and Lobbyism 3. Tax Systems and Permit Markets 4. US Permit Markets 5. Lobbyism: US Interest Groups 6. Potential Co2 Market 7. Conclusion
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