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Domestic Politics and the Formation of International Environmental Agreements

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  • Simon Dietz

    (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Carmen Marchiori

    (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science)

  • Alessandro Tavoni

    (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

The theory of international environmental agreements overwhelmingly assumes that governments engage as unitary agents. Each government makes choices based on benefits and costs that are simple national aggregates, and similarly on a single set of national-level motivations, together drawing a strong analogy with the behaviour of an individual or firm in other strategic contexts. In reality, however, various domestic special interests shape environmental policy, including how national governments cooperate on cross-border issues. Therefore in this paper we introduce to a classic model of international environmental cooperation the phenomenon of domestic political competition, whereby lobby groups seek to influence policy by offering to fund political campaigning. We use the model to establish some general conditions for the effects of lobbying on the stringency of policy and the size of coalitions cooperating to provide an environmental good. Using specific functional forms, we obtain a range of further results, including circumstances in which the omission of lobbying results in environmental protection being underestimated.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2012.76.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2012.76

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Keywords: Game Theory; International Environmental Agreements; Lobbying; Special-Interest Groups; Strategic Cooperation;

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  1. 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.
  2. Chander, Parkash & Tulkens, Henry, 1992. "Theoretical foundations of negotiations and cost sharing in transfrontier pollution problems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 388-399, April.
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  7. Alessandro Tavoni & Astrid Dannenberg & Giorgos Kallis & Andreas Löschel, 2011. "Inequality, communication and the avoidance of disastrous climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37570, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
  9. Barrett, Scott, 1997. "The strategy of trade sanctions in international environmental agreements," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 345-361, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Barrett, Scott, 2005. "The theory of international environmental agreements," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1516 Elsevier.
  12. 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.
  13. Johal, Surjinder & Ulph, Alistair, 2002. "Globalization, Lobbying, and International Environmental Governance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 387-403, August.
  14. Markussen, Peter & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2005. "Industry lobbying and the political economy of GHG trade in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 245-255, January.
  15. 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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