Papers

Job Market Paper

The present paper studies emissions abatement in a global game of technological investments. Players invest in competing technologies. One technology is cheap and dirty, the other expensive but green. Technological investments are strategic complements. While such games typically have multiple equilibria, uncertainty about the green technology’s true potential leads to selection of a unique equilibrium. Applied to international environmental agreements, the model yields sharp predictions on when a treaty targeting abatement technologies gets ratified. Under well-identified conditions, countries adopt the dirty technology even though that is inefficient. In a two-stage version of the game, I study the incentive to cooperate on green R&D prior to signing an international agreement. When used to inform domestic policy, the model suggests a novel policy of network subsidies. A network subsidy virtually guarantees efficient adoption of the green technology but is not, in equilibrium, paid out.
2020

Publications

We compare the decrease in European energy demand and CO2 emissions during the financial crisis 2008-2009 with the COVID-19 expected drop in demandand emissions, and the price response of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS). We ask whether the rather limited current price reduction may be due tothe Market Stability Reserve (MSR), implemented in the EU ETS between thetwo crisis. Stylized facts and basic theory are complemented with simulations based on a model of the EU ETS. Together, they suggest a mixed result. The MSR stabilizes the EU ETS price in turbulent times, but less than perfectly. We show that the more persistent the COVID-19 shock is, the less the MSR is able to serve its purpose.
Environmental and Resource Economics, 2020

By manipulating EU ETS through the Buy, Bank, Burn program, unregulated emissions are compensated while a substantial part of the burden is levied on regulated sectors. This distorts the balance between regulated firms and non-regulated projects, allowing climate-conscious consumers to be virtuous at the cost of others.
Nature Climate Change, 2019

Working papers

The Market Stability Reserve (MSR), implemented in 2018 to complement the EU emission trading system (EU ETS), is designed such that the supply of allowances responds endogenously to demand. We show that an endogenous cap such as the MSR produces a Green Paradox. Abatement policies announced early but realized in the future are counter-effective because of the MSR: they increase cumulative emissions. We present the mechanisms in a two-period model, and then provide quantitative evidence of our result for an annual model disciplined on the price rise in the EU ETS that followed the introduction of the MSR. Our results point to the need for better coordination between different policies, such as the European Green Deal. We conclude with suggestions to improve the workings of an endogenous cap, ahead of the MSR review scheduled for 2021.
Conditionally accepted for publication in Economic Policy, 2020

We develop a dynamic regulation game for a stock externality under asymmetric information and future market uncertainty. Within this framework, regulation is characterized as the implementation of a welfare-maximization program conditional on informational constraints. We identify the most general executable such programs and find these yield simple and intuitive policy rules. We apply our theory to carbon dioxide emissions trading schemes and find substantial welfare gains are possible, compared to current practices.
Submitted, 2020

Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the number of cap-and-trade schemes to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. With many independently operating systems, policy discussions have turned to the topic of linking. This paper offers a theory of optimal linking. We show that an efficient linkage adjusts the joint cap in response to inter-scheme trades of allowances. Compared to standard linking, our proposal has two major advantages. First, it increases global welfare by efficiently adjusting the cap in response to private information implicitly contained in inter-scheme trades. Second, post-linking price volatility is lower with an endogenous cap. The latter advantage may alleviate existing political barriers to linking such as imported price volatility. A key concept in our analysis is asymmetric uncertainty. Interestingly, while asymmetric information generally decreases welfare, asymmetric uncertainty compensates for part (or, in extreme cases, all) of that welfare loss.
2020

We study disease control in a game of imperfect information. While disease control games of perfect information tend to have multiple equilibria, we show that even a small amount of uncertainty leads to equilibrium uniqueness. In equilibrium, an epidemic may occur even though it is inefficient and could have been avoided. Moreover, less harmful diseases may cause more deaths. We extend the game to study cooperation and let a subset of players commit to control the disease whenever the expected benefit of doing so is sufficiently high. The equilibrium is again unique. Selection of a more favorable equilibrium is facilitated by this type of cooperation.
2020

Global games are incomplete information games where players receive private noisy signals about the true game played. In a sequential global game, the set of players is partitioned into subsets. Players within a subset (of the partition) play simultaneously but no two subsets move at the same time. The resulting sequence of stages introduces intricate dynamics not encountered in static global games. We show that a sequential global game with strategic complementarities and binary actions has at least one equilibrium in monotone strategies. When signals are sufficiently precise, the sequential global game has a unique equilibrium satisfying iterated dominance, forward induction, and backward induction, even if the complete information game (given the partition of the player set) has multiple equilibria. Several applications are discussed.
2020

CV

A full version of my CV is available here.

Other

Economics Statistische Berichten, 2019

Book chapter, Routledge, 2019

EAERE Magazine, 2018

In Dutch. Report written on request of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality regarding the question how – i.e. using which mechanism – the rights to build windmill parks on the North Sea are best allocated.
Government report, 2018

Teaching

  • TA Grondslagen Macro-economie (Undergraduate, 2016 - 2020)
  • TA Macroeconomics for EOR (Undergraduate, 2017 - 2018)
  • TA Economics for Social Sciences (Undergraduate, 2018 - 2019)
  • TA Microeconomics 2, Game Theory (Research Master, 2019 - 2020)
  • TA Environmental Economics (Undergraduate, 2020)
  • BSc thesis supervision (2018-2020)
  • MSc thesis supervision (2017 - 2018)

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