In the present paper we examine the effect of emissions permit price manipulation within an oligopolistic model. We examine the effect that positioning strategies in permits markets have on the degree of competition in the product market as well as on social welfare. The analysis is based on the concept of raising rivals' cost strategies. We find that competition in the product market can be lessened substantially. The welfare effect is ambiguous. If the leader expands its market share at the expense of a less efficient rival, or if it excludes a less efficient entrant, overall efficiency may increase despite the decrease in the industry's output. When efficiency decreases, or when consumers' protection is a policy priority, the initial distribution of permits can be used to control power in the permits market. Such interventions though, improve efficiency only when policy makers have substantial information on the technological structure of the industry, and thus, should be used with caution. Given the importance of information, sharing of information and coordination of actions between policy makers is very important.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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