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The Quest for Hegemony Among Countries and Global Pollution

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  • KAKEU, Johnson
  • GAUDET, Gérard

Abstract

This paper builds on the assumption that countries behave in such a way as to improve, via their economic strength, the probability that they will attain the hegemonic position on the world stage. The quest for hegemony is modeled as a game, with countries being differentiated initially only by some endowment which yields a pollution free ow of income. A country's level of pollution is assumed directly related to its economic strength, as measured by its level of production. Two types of countries are distinguished: richly-endowed countries, for whom the return on their endowment is greater than the return they can expect from winning the hegemony race, and poorly-endowed countries, who can expect a greater return from winning the race than from their endowment. We show that in a symmetric world of poorly-endowed countries the equilibrium level of emissions is larger than in a symmetric world of richly-endowed countries: the former, being less well endowed to begin with, try harder to win the race. In the asymmetric world composed of both types of countries, the poorly-endowed countries will be polluting more than the richly endowed countries. Numerical simulations show that if the number of richly-endowed countries is increased keeping the total number of countries constant, the equilibrium level of global emissions will decrease; if the lot of the poorly-endowed countries is increased by increasing their initial endowment keeping that of the richly-endowed countries constant, global pollution will decrease; increasing the endowments of each type of countries in the same proportion, and hence increasing the average endowment in that proportion, will decrease global pollution; redistributing from the richly-endowed in favor of the poorly-endowed while keeping the average endowment constant will in general result in an increase in the equilibrium level of global pollution.

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File URL: https://papyrus.bib.umontreal.ca/jspui/handle/1866/4004
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2010-03.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2010-03

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Keywords: Hegemony; global pollution; dynamic games;

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  1. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2005. "Contests for Status," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 139, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Loury, Glenn C, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410, August.
  3. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, April.
  4. Lee, Tom & Wilde, Louis L, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-36, March.
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