Carbon price interaction between allocated permits and generated offsets

Jongmin Yu, Mindy L. Mallory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Kyoto Protocol established targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change, and it introduced two kinds of market-based mechanisms: the emission allowance market and the carbon offset market. We identify stylized features of the two mechanisms with a partial equilibrium model. Our work is the first to derive a closed form solution incorporating most policy instruments, such as abatement and offset usage, and delivery risks in offsets. We show that policy changes will impact one market directly and the other indirectly, generating unequal price responses that affects the spread between the two compliance instruments. We show how the price spread between allowances and offsets is affected by market conditions such as the offset import limit, abatement and offset cost, penalty rate, emission cap, and baseline emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-700
Number of pages30
JournalOperational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Cap-and-trade
  • Carbon offset market
  • Carbon price spread
  • Emissions compliance market
  • Environmental regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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