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Regulating Knowledge Monopolies: The Case of the IPCC

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  • Tol, Richard S. J.

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a monopoly on the provision of climate policy advice at the international level and a strong market position in national policy advice. This may have been the intention of the founders of the IPCC. I argue that the IPCC has a natural monopoly, as a new entrant would have to invest time and effort over a longer period to perhaps match the reputation, trust, goodwill, and network of the IPCC. The IPCC is a not-for-profit organization, and it is run by nominal volunteers; it therefore cannot engage in the price-gouging that is typical of monopolies. However, the IPCC has certainly taken up tasks outside its mandate; the IPCC has been accused of haughtiness; innovation is slow; quality may have declined; and the IPCC may have used its power to hinder competitors. There are all things that monopolies tend to do, against the public interest. The IPCC would perform better if it were regulated by an independent body which audits the IPCC procedures and assesses its performance; if outside organizations would be allowed to bid for the production of reports and the provision of services under the IPCC brand; and if policy makers would encourage potential competitors to the IPCC.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP350.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp350

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Keywords: Climate change/IPCC/natural monopoly/regulation/policy advice/Climate change/Climate policy/Policy;

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  1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
  2. Kamada, Yuichiro & Kominers, Scott Duke, 2010. "Information can wreck cooperation: A counterpoint to Kandori (1992)," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 112-114, May.
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  5. Roberto Patuelli & Eric Pels & Peter Nijkamp, 2002. "Environmental Tax Reform and Double Dividend," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-095/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
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  9. Hordijk, Leen & Kroeze, Carolien, 1997. "Integrated assessment models for acid rain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 405-417, November.
  10. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
  11. Seán Lyons & Karen Mayor & Richard S.J. Tol, 2008. "Environmental Accounts for the Republic of Ireland: 1990-2005," Papers WP223, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  12. Graham Dawson, 2009. "Privatising Climate Policy," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 57-62, 09.
  13. Kuik, Onno & Brander, Luke & Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Marginal abatement costs of greenhouse gas emissions: A meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1395-1403, April.
  14. Arrow Kenneth J, 2007. "Global Climate Change: A Challenge to Policy," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-5, June.
  15. Graham Dawson, 2008. "The Economic Science Fiction Of Climate Change: A Free-Market Perspective On The Stern Review And The Ipcc," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 42-47, December.
  16. David Henderson, 2009. "Climate Change Issues: A Dissenting Voice," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 87-88, 09.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Regulating knowledge monopolies
    by Richard Tol in The Irish Economy on 2010-10-04 05:52:26
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Cited by:
  1. James Ford & Will Vanderbilt & Lea Berrang-Ford, 2012. "Authorship in IPCC AR5 and its implications for content: climate change and Indigenous populations in WGII," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 201-213, July.
  2. Iñigo Capellán-Pérez & Mikel González-Eguino & Iñaki Arto & Alberto Ansuategi & Kishore Dhavala & Pralit Patel & Anil Markandya, 2014. "New climate scenario framework implementation in the GCAM integrated assessment model," Working Papers 2014-04, BC3.
  3. Jonathan Ignatowski & Jon Rosales, 2013. "Identifying the exposure of two subsistence villages in Alaska to climate change using traditional ecological knowledge," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 285-299, November.

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