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The role of fixed cost in international environmental negotiations

  • BAYRAMOGLU, BASAK
  • JACQUES, JEAN-FRANÇOIS

We investigate the relative efficiency of an agreement based on a uniform standard without transfers and one based on differentiated standards with transfers when strictly identical countries deal with transboundary pollution. We especially ask what role fixed cost plays. Two approaches are examined: the Nash bargaining solution, involving two countries, and the coalition formation framework, involving numerous countries and emphasizing self-enforcing agreements. In the former, in terms of welfare, strictly identical countries may wish to reduce their emissions in a non-uniform way under the differentiated agreement. For this result to hold, the fixed cost of investment in abatement technology must be sufficiently high. The nature of the threat point of negotiations, however, also plays a crucial role. As concerns global abatement, the two countries abate more under the uniform agreement than under the differentiated one. In terms of coalition formation when numerous countries are involved, a grand coalition could emerge under a differentiated agreement.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
Issue (Month): 02 (April)
Pages: 221-238

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:16:y:2011:i:02:p:221-238_00
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  1. Basak Bayramoglu & Jean-François Jacques, 2005. "Comparison of negotiated uniform versus differentiated abatement standards for a transboundary pollution problem," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00193609, HAL.
  2. Larson, Bruce A. & Tobey, James A., 1994. "Uncertain climate change and the international policy response," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 77-84, September.
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  12. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
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