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International environmental agreements under uncertainty: does the 'veil of uncertainty' help?

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  • Michael Finus
  • Pedro Pintassilgo

Abstract

Na and Shin showed that the 'veil of uncertainty' can be conducive to the success of self-enforcing international environmental agreements. Later papers confirmed this conclusion about the negative impact of learning. In the light of intensified research efforts worldwide to reduce uncertainty about the environmental impact of emissions and the cost of reducing them, this conclusion is intriguing. The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we analyse whether the result carries over to a more general setting without restriction on the number of players and which considers not only 'no' and 'full learning' but also 'partial learning'. Second, we test whether the conclusion also holds if there is uncertainty about abatement costs instead of uncertainty about the benefits from global abatement. Third, we propose a transfer scheme that mitigates the possible negative effect of learning and which may even transform it into a positive effect. Copyright 2012 Oxford University Press 2011 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Finus & Pedro Pintassilgo, 2012. "International environmental agreements under uncertainty: does the 'veil of uncertainty' help?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 736-764, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:64:y:2012:i:4:p:736-764
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans-Peter Weikard & Michael Finus & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera, 2006. "The impact of surplus sharing on the stability of international climate agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 209-232, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. By Michael Finus & Raoul Schneider, 2015. "Scope and compatibility of measures in international fisheries agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 865-888.
    2. Carlo Carraro, 2014. "International environmental cooperation," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 26, pages 418-431 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Fuhai Hong & Susheng Wang, 2012. "Climate Policy, Learning, and Technology Adoption in Small Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(3), pages 391-411, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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