Should environmental projects be subsidised? An empirical analysis

Source: OAI


Imperfect markets, asymmetric information and transboundary pollution are all characteristics that in most cases lead to inefficient “market” outcomes, and which thus are arguments for (public) intervention in the market. On the other hand, these characteristics also imply strategic behaviour by the economic agents, and then the effects of public intervention may be different from the traditional results of e.g. subsidies. The point of departure for this paper is the trading of an environmental project in a market with the above mentioned characteristics and where the pollution is transboundary. The trade is promoted by (foreign) authorities in that they offer a grant is trade takes place. We show that the effects of the grant strongly depend on the interests of the authorities, and that the subsidisation does not necessarily make the trading outcome more efficient.

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