This paper tests the independence property under the Coase Theorem in a large multinational cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gas emissions, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). I analyze whether emissions of power producers regulated under the EU ETS are independent from allowance allocations, leveraging a change in allocation policy for a difference-in-differences strategy. The evidence suggests that the independence property holds overall and for larger emitters. It fails for small emitters, indicating that transaction costs distort their emission decisions. However, due to their small share of aggregate emissions the independence property remains intact at the sector level.
Coase theorem independence property cap-and-trade EU ETS greenhouse gas emissions