Dynamic pollution regulation with endogenous technological change Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h415pc743

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  • This thesis investigates the dynamic efficiency of emission standards and Pigouvian taxes in the regulation of pollution where research and development (R&D) and the technology level are endogenous. A key element of the analysis is a comparison of the efficiency between instances in which the regulator can and cannot commnit to future regulatory levels. A partial equilibrium game theoretic model with two periods and a number of stages in each period is used. Additionally, a computer simulation of regulation is developed to examine the efficiency of the equilibrium outcome when mathematical complexity prevents finding an analytic solution. The results suggest that if innovation is deterministic, that is, a firm invests in R&D such that it succeeds with certainly or it does not invest at all, commitment to a standard will yield the optimal level of abatement and investment while taxes may not. Even in instances where innovation is stochastic instead of deterministic, emission standards, with or without commitment, can result in higher levels of welfare than using taxes as a regulatory instrument. It is also shown that non-commitment to a tax level will often yield a greater level of welfare than commitment. In general, however, whether commitment or non-commitment to future taxes will result in greater welfare is ambiguous. The results are driven in part because the Pigouvian taxation rule cannot provide both the proper ex ante and ex post incentives for pollution abatement and investment in R&D.
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