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Regulating Knowledge Monopolies: The Case of the IPCC

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  • Tol, Richard S. J.

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a monopoly on the provision of climate policy advice at the international level and a strong market position in national policy advice. This may have been the intention of the founders of the IPCC. I argue that the IPCC has a natural monopoly, as a new entrant would have to invest time and effort over a longer period to perhaps match the reputation, trust, goodwill, and network of the IPCC. The IPCC is a not-for-profit organization, and it is run by nominal volunteers; it therefore cannot engage in the price-gouging that is typical of monopolies. However, the IPCC has certainly taken up tasks outside its mandate; the IPCC has been accused of haughtiness; innovation is slow; quality may have declined; and the IPCC may have used its power to hinder competitors. There are all things that monopolies tend to do, against the public interest. The IPCC would perform better if it were regulated by an independent body which audits the IPCC procedures and assesses its performance; if outside organizations would be allowed to bid for the production of reports and the provision of services under the IPCC brand; and if policy makers would encourage potential competitors to the IPCC.

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  • Tol, Richard S. J., 2010. "Regulating Knowledge Monopolies: The Case of the IPCC," Papers WP350, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp350
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Regulating knowledge monopolies
      by Richard Tol in The Irish Economy on 2010-10-04 10:52:26
    2. Powerless Texas vs. Government
      by Wayne Lusvardi in MasterResource on 2021-06-20 06:00:08

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    2. James Ford & Will Vanderbilt & Lea Berrang-Ford, 2012. "Authorship in IPCC AR5 and its implications for content: climate change and Indigenous populations in WGII," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 201-213, July.
    3. Diana Liverman, 2016. "U.S. National climate assessment gaps and research needs: overview, the economy and the international context," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 173-186, March.
    4. Richard Tol, 2014. "Objective versus subjective assessments: The IPCC treatment of the total economic impact of climate change," Working Paper Series 6914, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    5. Richard S. J. Tol, 2016. "The Impacts Of Climate Change According To The Ipcc," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(01), pages 1-20, February.
    6. Iñigo Capellán-Pérez & Mikel González-Eguino & Iñaki Arto & Alberto Ansuategi & Kishore Dhavala & Pralit Patel & Anil Markandya, 2014. "New climate scenario framework implementation in the GCAM integrated assessment model," Working Papers 2014-04, BC3.
    7. Richard S. J. Tol, 2022. "The IPCC and the challenge of ex post policy evaluation," Papers 2207.14724, arXiv.org.
    8. Foucart, Renaud & Schmidt, Robert C., 2019. "(Almost) efficient information transmission in elections," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 147-165.

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    Climate change/IPCC/natural monopoly/regulation/policy advice/Climate change/Climate policy/Policy;

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