The US Acid Rain Program (ARP) is now well-established. The ARP relies on tradable permits and includes an annual revenue-neutral SO2 auction. Has this auction been an important factor in establishing low transaction costs and a successful market? In answering this question, we first compare the price signals from the SO2 auction to those found in the market. Second, we try to explain empirical outcomes by analyzing strategic incentives and the number of buyers and sellers in the auction. The policy recommendation is that the non-discriminative SO2 auction is a very useful tool for kick-starting an immature market and should as such be applied by policy makers, for example when establishing future CO2 markets.
Homo Oeconomicus, 1999, Vol XVI, Issue 2, p. 191-203