The environmental and economic effects of the carbon emissions trading scheme in China: The role of alternative allowance allocation
This paper examines the impact of China's carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) on carbon emissions reduction and economic performance with a focus on the role of alternative allowance allocation. Using the industry-by-province panel data during the 2008-2016 period, the empirical strategy employs a difference-in-difference-in-difference model. Some novel findings emerge. First, the ETS leads to a reduction in carbon emissions and emission intensity, in particular, for those adopting the benchmarking allowance allocation. Second, the reduction in carbon emissions arises from an increase in energy efficiency. Moreover, the adjustment of energy structure is more favorable to ETS regions adopting the benchmarking allocation rule compared with ETS regions using the grandfathering one. Third, the ETS has muted impacts on employment and returns on assets. A further comparison between the benchmarking and grandfathering rules reveals that the former is associated with a rise in employment, while the latter leads to an increase in returns on assets. In line with the findings, it is recommended that the government should further develop the benchmarking value of the sub-sectors, and gradually transform the allowance allocation methods into the benchmarking-dominated method for China ETS.
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