Past Seminar

There Did All the Markets Go! The Political Economy of Implementing Tradable Permits in the EU, Japan, and the US and Lessons for Theory

Oct 11, 2012

About the Event

There Did All the Markets Go!  The Political Economy of Implementing Tradable Permits in the EU, Japan, and the US and Lessons for Theory
RFF Academic Seminar
Sven Rudolph
Kassel University
Competence Centre for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Since the 1970s, Public Choice Theory has been convincingly used to explain why tradable permit systems face serious political barriers. However, recent developments show the global spreading of emissions trading especially in climate policy, even if many of the systems are rather unaspiring in relation to the problems to be solved. Hence, the question arises, in how far are Public Choice arguments still valid, and, if necessary, how can they be improved in order to also cover most recent developments in environmental policy? In order to answer these questions, the paper summarizes traditional Public Choice arguments on tradable permits and applies them to specific design issues of climate policy emissions trading. The paper then analyzes case-study-based empirical data from the EU, Japan, and the US in order to evaluate Public Choice reasoning. In view of unanswered questions, applying the inductive method, the paper ultimately derives lessons for theory and proposes an enhanced approach to the political economy of tradable permits. In so doing, the paper suggests that, while Public Choice is still an excellent tool for explaining shortcomings of emissions trading schemes and their design in practice, its empirical relevance could be greatly improved by taking into account specific exogenous restrictions to political stakeholders’ behavior.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch will be provided.
1st Floor Conference Room
1616 P St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Khadija Hill at (tel. 202-328-5174). Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at