A Theory of Optimal Green Defaults

Georg Meran & Reimund Schwarze
This paper develops an analytical framework for studying the Baumol–Oates efficiency of traditional single instrument abatement policies vis-à-vis green defaults in the face of price inertia and passive choice by subpopulations. In this special case of behavioural heterogeneity, command and control approaches can outperform price-based instruments while pure tax/subsidy schemes need to be adjusted in order to achieve politically desired levels of abatement. We also prove that choice-preserving nudges are superior to any single-instrument policy...
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