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2010-12-20 | Peer Reviewed

Taxes, Permits, and the Adoption of Abatement Technology under Imperfect Compliance

Coria, Jessica and Clara Inés Villegas Palacio. 2010. “On the interaction between imperfect compliance and technology adoption: taxes versus tradable emissions permits.” Journal of Regulatory Economics 38:3: 274-291.
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This paper analyzes the effects of the interaction between technology adoption and incomplete enforcement on the extent of violations and the rate of abatement technology adoption.

We focus on price-based and quantity-based emission regulations. First, we show that in contrast to uniform taxes, under tradable emissions permits (TEPs), the fall in permit price produced by technology adoption reduces the benefits of violating the environmental regulation at the margin and leads firms to modify their compliance behavior.Moreover, when TEPs are used, the deterrent effect of the monitoring effort is reinforced by the effect that technology adoption has on the extent of violations. Second, we show that the regulator may speed up the diffusion of new technologies by increasing the stringency of the enforcement strategy in the case of TEPs while in the case of uniform taxes, the rate of adoption does not depend on the enforcement parameters.