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International Environmental Agreements under Uncertainty: Does the Veil of Uncertainty Help?

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Author Info

  • Michael Finus

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Pedro Pintassilgo

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Algarve)

Abstract

Na and Shin (1998) showed that the veil of uncertainty can be conducive to the success of self-enforcing international environmental agreements. Later papers confirmed this negative conclusion about the role of learning. In the light of intensified research efforts worldwide to reduce uncertainty about the environmental impact of emissions and the cost of reducing them, this conclusion is intriguing. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we analyze whether the result carries over to a more general setting without restriction on the number of players and which considers not only no and full learning but also partial learning. Second, we test whether the conclusion also holds if there is uncertainty about abatement costs instead of uncertainty about the benefits from global abatement. Third, we propose a transfer scheme that mitigates the possible negative effect of learning and which may even transform it into a positive effect.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1003.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1003

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Keywords: transnational cooperation; self-enforcing international environmental agreements; uncertainty; learning;

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References

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  1. Barrett, Scott, 2001. "International cooperation for sale," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1835-1850, December.
  2. Eyckmans, Johan & Finus, Michael, 2009. "An Almost Ideal Sharing Scheme for Coalition Games with Externalities," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  3. Charles Kolstad, 2005. "Piercing the Veil of Uncertainty in Transboundary Pollution Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(1), pages 21-34, 05.
  4. Kolstad, Charles D., 2007. "Systematic uncertainty in self-enforcing international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 68-79, January.
  5. Hans-Peter Weikard, 2009. "Cartel Stability Under An Optimal Sharing Rule," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(5), pages 575-593, 09.
  6. Francesco Bosello & Barbara Buchner & Carlo Carraro, 2003. "Equity, Development, and Climate Change Control," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 601-611, 04/05.
  7. Fuentes Albero Cristina & Rubio Jorge Santiago J., 2008. "Can International Environmental Cooperation Be Bought?," Working Papers 2010101, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  8. Matthew McGinty, 2007. "International environmental agreements among asymmetric nations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 45-62, January.
  9. Charles Kolstad & Alistair Ulph, 2011. "Uncertainty, Learning and Heterogeneity in International Environmental Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(3), pages 389-403, November.
  10. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1997. "Stable Coalition Structures with Externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 201-237, August.
  11. Carsten Helm, 1998. "International Cooperation Behind the Veil of Uncertainty – The Case of Transboundary Acidification," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 185-201, September.
  12. Oran R. Young, 2003. "Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 145-147, 02.
  13. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
  14. Arce M., Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2001. "Transnational public goods: strategies and institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 493-516, September.
  15. Michael Hoel, 1992. "International environment conventions: The case of uniform reductions of emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 141-159, March.
  16. Gollier, Christian & Treich, Nicolas, 2003. " Decision-Making under Scientific Uncertainty: The Economics of the Precautionary Principle," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 77-103, August.
  17. Johan Eyckmans & Michael Finus, 2003. "Coalition Formation in a Global Warming Game: How the Design of Protocols Affects the Success of Environmental Treaty-Making," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0317, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  18. Finus, Michael, 2008. "Game Theoretic Research on the Design of International Environmental Agreements: Insights, Critical Remarks, and Future Challenges," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 29-67, June.
  19. Hans-Peter Weikard & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Michael Finus, 2004. "The Impact of Surplus Sharing on The Stability of International Climate Agreements," Working Papers 2004.99, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  20. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
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Cited by:
  1. Fuhai Hong & Susheng Wang, 2012. "Climate Policy, Learning, and Technology Adoption in Small Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(3), pages 391-411, March.

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