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The Biodiversity Bargaining Problem

  • Gatti, J.R.J.
  • Goeschl, T.
  • Groom, B.
  • Timothy Swanson

This paper describes global biodiversity conservation as a co-operative bargaining problem. We model an interdependent ‘technology rich’ North and a ‘gene rich’ South who must co-operate in the biotechnology sector in order to combine their unique and essential resources and maximise global surplus. Chief among the ideas presented here is that, in a manner similar to the ‘rational threats’ idea posited by Nash (1953), and in line with observations of pre-contractual bargaining over biodiversity conservation in Latin America (World Bank 2003), destruction of biological resources represents a real source of bargaining power to the South in determining the bargaining outcome. Not only this, but current institutional arrangements relevant to the biodiversity bargaining problem, namely the incremental cost approach enshrined in the CBD and IPRs for innovation enshrined in TRIPS, can be shown to offer a second-best solution. These arrangements may induce the strategic incentives in the game of surplus division.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0447.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0447
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Swanson, Timothy, 1996. "The reliance of northern economies on southern biodiversity: biodiversity as information," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-8, April.
  4. Ilhem Kassar & Pierre Lasserre, 2002. "Species Preservation and Biodiversity Value: A Real Options Approach," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 20-18, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  5. Polasky, Stephen & Costello, Christopher & McAusland, Carol, 2004. "On trade, land-use, and biodiversity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 911-925, September.
  6. Susanne Droege & Birgit Soete, 2001. "Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights, North-South Trade, and Biological Diversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 149-163, June.
  7. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2002. "The Social Value of Biodiversity for R&D," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(4), pages 477-504, August.
  8. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2003. "Pests, Plagues, and Patents," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 561-575, 04/05.
  9. Timo Goeschl & Timothy Swanson, 2003. "On Biology and Technology: The Economics of Managing Biotechnologies," Working Papers 2003.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. King, K., 1994. "The Incremental Costs of Global Environmental Benefits," Papers 5, World Bank - Global Environment Facility.
  11. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  12. Scott Barrett, 1994. "The biodiversity supergame," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 111-122, February.
  13. Lutz-Alexander Bush & Shouyong Shi & Quan Wen, 1998. "Bargaining with Surplus Destruction," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 915-932, November.
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