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International cooperation and competition in orbit-use management

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  • Aditya Jain
  • Akhil Rao

Abstract

Orbit-use management efforts can be structured as binding national regulatory policies or as self-enforcing international treaties. New treaties to control space debris growth appear unlikely in the near future. Spacefaring nations can pursue national regulatory policies, though regulatory competition and open access to orbit make their effectiveness unclear. We develop a game-theoretic model of national regulatory policies and self-enforcing international treaties for orbit-use management in the face of open access, regulatory competition, and catastrophe. While open access limits the effectiveness of national policies, market-access control ensures the policies can improve environmental quality. A large enough stock of legacy debris ensures existence of a global regulatory equilibrium where all nations choose to levy environmental regulations on all satellites. The global regulatory equilibrium supports a self-enforcing treaty to avert catastrophe by making it costlier to leave the treaty and free ride.

Suggested Citation

  • Aditya Jain & Akhil Rao, 2022. "International cooperation and competition in orbit-use management," Papers 2205.03926, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2022.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2205.03926
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