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The Quest for Hegemony Among Countries and Global Pollution

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  • Johnson Kakeu

    ()

  • Gérard Gaudet

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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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Suggested Citation

  • Johnson Kakeu & Gérard Gaudet, 2011. "The Quest for Hegemony Among Countries and Global Pollution," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 498-513, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:dyngam:v:1:y:2011:i:4:p:498-513
    DOI: 10.1007/s13235-011-0023-6
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13235-011-0023-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stern,Nicholas, 2007. "The Economics of Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521700801.
    2. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela & Xianwen Shi, 2007. "Contests for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 338-363.
    3. Tom Lee & Louis L. Wilde, 1980. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Reformulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 429-436.
    4. 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.
    5. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hegemony; Global pollution; Dynamic games;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy

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