University of Nottingham Ningbo China
School of
International Studies
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Price Limits in a Tradable Performance Standard 

abstract:Tradable performance standards are widely used regulatory policies. Examples include the US lead phasedown, fuel economy standards for automobiles, renewable portfolio standards, low carbon fuel standards (LCFS), and—most recently—China’s new national carbon market. At the same time, theory and experience with traditional cap-and-trade programs suggests an important role for price limits in the form of floors, ceilings, and reserves. In this paper, we develop a simple analytical model to show that the welfare comparison between tradable performance standards and a price-based alternative is a variant of the traditional Weitzman prices-versus-quantities result. We use this formula to estimate the gains to using price mechanisms in the California LCFS and China’s carbon market.  Given prices are frequently favored, we then discuss practical issues regarding how a hybrid mechanism—price limits in a tradable performance standard—could be put into place.

Speaker:Billy Pizer

Bio:His current research examines how public policies to promote clean energy can effectively leverage private sector investments, how environmental regulation and climate policy can affect production costs and competitiveness, and how the design of market-based environmental policies can address the needs of different stakeholders. From 2008 to 2011, Pizer was deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he created and led a new office responsible for the department’s role in the domestic and international environment and energy agenda of the United States. Prior to that, Pizer was a researcher at Resources for the Future (RFF), a nonpartisan think tank, for more than a decade. He served as senior economist for the environment at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002. Pizer's academic experience includes visiting professorships at The Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University. He has published more than thirty peer-reviewed articles and books and holds a PhD and MA in economics from Harvard University and BS in physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Venue and date:4:30 - 6:00pmNew ICC (68)

25 Oct