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On the Self-serving Use of Equity Principles in International Climate Negotiations

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  • Lange, Andreas
  • Löschel, Andreas
  • Vogt, Carsten
  • Ziegler, Andreas

Abstract

This paper puts forward equity as an important structural element to understanding negotiation outcomes. We first advance bargaining theory to incorporate the self-serving use of equity. Agents are predicted to push equity principles which benefit them more than other parties, in particular those which are disadvantageous to parties with large bargaining power. Based on unique data from a world-wide survey of agents involved in international climate policy, we then study how participants assess the support of the equity criteria by major parties in the climate negotiations. Comparing these results with cost estimates from a POLES model, we find that the perceived equity preferences of the respective countries or groups of countries are in general consistent with our hypothesis of a self-serving use of equity criteria and thereby lend support for our theoretical model. While this self-interest is recognized by the participants of our survey for the positions of the USA and the G77/China as well as Russia, the EU manages to be seen as choosing (self-serving) equity arguments out of fairness concerns and in order to facilitate the negotiations. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 07-025.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5588

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Keywords: bargaining theory; equity criteria; self-serving bias; climate policy; survey data;

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References

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  1. Lasse Ringius & Asbjørn Torvanger & Arild Underdal, 2002. "Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
  2. Toman, Michael & Shogren, Jason, 2000. "Climate Change Policy," Discussion Papers dp-00-22, Resources For the Future.
  3. 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.
  4. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  5. Lange, Andreas, 2004. "The Impact of Equity-preferences on the Stability of Heterogeneous International Agreements," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-50, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Lange, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten & Ziegler, Andreas, 2006. "On the Importance of Equity in International Climate Policy: An Empirical Analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-42, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Lin Zhou, 1997. "The Nash Bargaining Theory with Non-Convex Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 681-686, May.
  8. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  9. Heike Hennig-Schmidt, 2000. "The Impact of Fairness on Decision Making - An Analysis of Different Video Experiments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse14_2001, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Feb 2002.
  10. 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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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Andreas Lange (U Hamburg) on Why Fairness Principles Matter to International Climate Change Negotiations
    by ? in Economics NOW on 2011-08-25 11:52:00
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Cited by:
  1. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rose, Adam, 2008. "Equity and justice in global warming policy," MPRA Paper 24272, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Alfred Endres, 2008. "Ein Unmöglichkeitstheorem für die Klimapolitik?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 350-382, 08.

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