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The Informational Role of the EPA SO2 Permit Auction

David Brookshire and H Stuart Burness

Journal of Regulatory Economics, 2001, vol. 20, issue 1, 43-60

Abstract: We consider the ex ante informational implications of the mandatory surrender feature of a stylized emission permit auction, similar to that in the U.S. EPA SO2 permit scheme, but modeled as a uniform price auction. The theory suggests that generally the auction gives misleading signals concerning the expected price of permits in the post-auction permit market; in the cases where the permit auction is designed to correctly predict the post-auction permit market equilibrium price, the permit auction preempts the permit market, and all trading occurs in the auction. Ex post auction/market experience suggests that the market may have enabled the auction and consequently raises the possibility that the market may have worked in spite of the auction and not because of it. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 2001
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