Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Speculative Attacks in Markets for Emission Permits"

Stephen S. Salant
Professor, Department of Economics
University of Michigan

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"One of the nation's most distinguished environmental and resource economists, Steve Salant is known for his work in diverse areas ranging from oil markets to explanations of why squirrels sequester acorns."— Professor Charles Kolstad, speaker host

The talk will introduce inventory accumulation into the standard model of supply and demand. It will then describe circumstances that in theory should trigger virtually instantaneous inventory accumulation (an “attack”) by the private speculators. Several real world examples from widely different contexts will be discussed, making clear the relevance of this theory. The theory will then be applied to markets for tradeable permits---both the markets contemplated under the Federal bills which languished in Congress and the California market which will commence operation next year.

Stephen Salant is an applied microtheorist specializing in natural resource economics and industrial organization. In his natural resources research, Professor Salant generalized the standard model of exhaustible resources to take account of noncompetitive industry structures and, subsequently, to permit arbitrary spatial configurations of extractors and their customers. Professor Salant also formulated the first model of a speculative attack. Although built to explain speculative attacks in commodity markets, his model was immediately adapted to explain speculative attacks in foreign-exchange markets. The international finance literature on speculative attacks has now grown to thousands of articles.

In his industrial organization research, Professor Salant initiated the literature on the profitability of horizontal mergers and on volume-restricting organizations such as cartels and fishery management councils that select quotas by voting.

Professor Salant was the first co-editor of the Rand Journal of Economics and during its first decade co-organized the biennial Toulouse Conference on Environmental and Resource Economics.

He counts among his distinguished thesis students (and now his co-authors) Carolyn Fischer, who is currently visiting the Bren School, and Matt Kotchen, a former Bren professor who will be visiting later this term.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


To join the "bren-alerts" mailing list and receive announcements about Bren School news and events, or to manage your bren-alerts account, go to

To see a complete list of currently scheduled Bren events, visit

To have an event considered for distribution via bren-alerts, send e-mail to

For more information or for assistance in accommodating a disability, please contact BJ Danetra

To find out how to support the Bren School, please contact Jennifer Purcell Deacon