Providing global public goods under uncertainty
We study how uncertainty and risk aversion affect international agreements to supply global public goods. We consider a benchmark model with homogeneous countries and linear payoffs. When countries directly contribute to a public good, uncertainty tends to lower signatories' efforts but may increase participation. Despite risk aversion, uncertainty may improve welfare. In contrast, when countries try to reduce a global public bad, uncertainty tends to increase signatories' efforts and decrease participation. In that case, an ex-ante reduction of uncertainty may have a large positive multiplier effect on welfare.
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