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Removing fuel subsidies: How can international organizations support national policy reforms?

Author

Listed:
  • Joel E. Smith

    (Columbia University)

  • Johannes Urpelainen

    (Columbia University)

Abstract

This article investigates how international organizations can support fuel subsidy reform. Departing from earlier studies, we focus on the ability of international organizations to assist national governments directly in the enactment and implementation of national reforms. While international organizations lack the capacity to directly enforce policy or force countries to abolish subsidies, they can increase the cost of reform reversal by governments that have a preference for reform but worry about the credibility and durability of their reforms. Moreover, international organizations can support learning from peers. In practice, governments interested in subsidy reform can announce a public commitment and submit progress reports to peer review by other countries under the auspices of an international organization. We characterize the institutional design of international organizations for success, discuss the role of the civil society in the process, and offer short illustrations from recent efforts by international organizations to promote fuel subsidy reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel E. Smith & Johannes Urpelainen, 2017. "Removing fuel subsidies: How can international organizations support national policy reforms?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 327-340, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10784-017-9358-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-017-9358-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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