2023-02: General Equilibrium Theory For Climate Change


We propose two general equilibrium models, quota equilibrium and emission tax equilibrium. The government specifies quotas or taxes on emissions, then refrains from further action. Quota equilibrium exists; the allocation of emission property rights strongly impacts the distribution of welfare. If the only externality arises from total net emissions, quota equilibrium is constrained Pareto Optimal. Every quota equilibrium can be realized as an emission tax equilibrium and vice versa. However, for certain tax rates, emission tax equilibrium may not exist, or may exhibit high multiplicity. Full Pareto Optimality of quota equilibrium can often be achieved by setting the right quota.

Publication date: 
September 8, 2023
Publication type: 
2023 Working Papers