Timing and commitment of environmental policy, adoption of new technology, and repercussions on R & D

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Abstract

We investigate the interplay between environmental policy, incentives to adopt new technology, and repercussions on R&D. We study a model where a monopolistic upstream firm engages in R&D and sells advanced abatement technology to polluting downstream firms. We consider four different timing and commitment regimes of environmental tax and permit policies: ex post taxation (or issuing permits), interim commitment to a tax rate (a quota of permits) after observing R&D success but before adoption, and finally two types of ex ante commitment before R&D activity, one with a unique tax rate (quota of permits), the other one with a menu of tax rates (permit quotas). We study the second best tax and permit policies and rank these with respect to welfare. In particular, we find that commitment to a menu of tax rate dominates all other policy regimes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Commitment
  • Emission taxes
  • Environmental policy
  • R & D
  • Technology adoption
  • Time consistency
  • Tradeable permits

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