A major concern with tradable emission permits (TEPs) is that stochastic permit prices may reduce firm incentive to invest in abatement capital or technologies relative to other policies such as a fixed emissions charge. However, under efficient permit trading, the price uncertainty is caused by abatement cost uncertainties which affect investment under both permit and charge policies. The authors develop a rational expectations general equilibrium model of permit trading to show how cost uncertainty affects investment. Differences between the two policies can be decomposed into a general equilibrium effect and a price-versus-quantity effect. Except for the curvature of the payoff functions, uncertainties reduce both effects so that tradable permits in fact help maintain firms' investment incentive under uncertainty.
Zhao, Jinhua, "Irreversible Abatement Investment Under Cost Uncertainties: Tradable Emission Permits and Emissions Charges" (2000). CARD Working Papers. 276.
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