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Domestic politics and the formation of international environmental agreements

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  • Simon Dietz
  • Carmen Marchiori
  • Alessandro Tavoni
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    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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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 87.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp87

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    1. Lange, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten, 2003. "Cooperation in international environmental negotiations due to a preference for equity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2049-2067, September.
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    6. Alessandro Tavoni & Astrid Dannenberg & Giorgos Kallis & Andreas Löschel, 2011. "Inequality, Communication and the Avoidance of Disastrous Climate Change," CCEP Working Papers 1103, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1991. "Strategies for the International Protection of the Environment," CEPR Discussion Papers 568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    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. 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.
    14. Barrett, Scott, 1997. "The strategy of trade sanctions in international environmental agreements," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 345-361, November.
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