Antitrust versus industrial policies, entry and welfare

With Guy Meunier and Francisco Ruiz Aliseda, May 2015.
Revise and Resubmit to Journal of Industrial Economics

In industries with large sunk costs, the investment strategy of competing firms depends on the regulatory context. We consider ex-ante industrial policies in which the sunk cost may be either taxed or subsidized, and antitrust policies which could be either pro-competitive (leading to divestiture in case of high ex-post profitability) or lenient (allowing mergers in case of low ex-post profitability). Through a simple entry game we completely characterize the impact of these policies and examine their associated dynamic trade-offs between the timing of the investment, the ex-post benefits for the consumers, and the possible duplication of fixed costs. We find that merger policies are dominated by ex-ante industrial policies, whereas the latter are dominated by divestiture policies only under very special circumstances.


Defining the Abatement Cost in Presence of Learning-by-doing: Application to the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

With Anna Creti, Alena Kotelnikova and Guy Meunier, May 2015.
Submitted to Environmental and Resource Economics

The transition of a sector from a pollutant state to a clean one is studied. A green technology, subject to learning-by-doing, progressively replaces an old one. The notion of abatement cost in this dynamic context is fully characterized. The theoretical, dynamic optimization, perspective is linked to simple implementation rules. The practical “deployment” perspective allows to study sub-optimal trajectories. Moreover, the analysis of the launching date provides a definition of a dynamic abatement cost easy to use for evaluation of real-world policy options. The case of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles offers an illustration of the proposed methodology.


Output-based allocations in pollution markets with uncertainty and self-selection

With Guy Meunier and Juan-Pablo Montero, May 2016.
Submitted to The Rand Journal of Economics

We study pollution permit markets in which a fraction of permits are allocated to firms based on their output. Output-based allocations, which are receiving increasing attention in the design of carbon markets around the world (e.g., Europe, California, New Zealand), are shown to be optimal under demand and supply volatility despite the output distortions they may create. In a market that covers multiple sectors, the optimal design combines auctioned permits with output-based allocations that are specific to each sector and increasing in its volatility. When firms are better informed about the latter or must self select, the regulator resort to some free (i.e., lump-sum) allocations to sort firms out. Numerical exercises illustrate the policy relevance of our results: the gains from considering output-based allocations can be substantial.


Policies and Deployment for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles : An Assessment of the Normandy Project

With Julien Brunet, June 2016.
Submitted to The International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

The paper provides a cost benefit analysis of one of the most prominent deployment project in France of fuel cell electric vehicles, taking place in Normandy. The project builds on the substitution of a diesel Renault Kangoo by an electric Renault Kangoo ZE with a fuel cell range extender for public fleets. The analysis points out potential weaknesses of the project as it is envisioned today using a decomposition of the value-chain. To achieve sustainability in 2025 a much stronger deployment should take place. This would allow for a sharp decrease in the total cost of ownership thanks to a close coordination between hydrogen production and its delivery through refilling stations to take advantage of the expected increasing volume of hydrogen consumption along the deployment path. This suggests that a high level in public funds at this early deployment phase can be critical for the success of the project.