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Modesty Pays: Sometimes!

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  • Michael Finus

    (Department of Economics, University of Hagen)

Abstract

Standard non-cooperative game theoretical models of international environmental agreements (IEAs) draw a pessimistic picture of the prospective of successful cooperation: only small coalitions are stable that achieve only little. However, there also exist IEAs with higher participation and more success. In order to explain this phenomenon, this paper departs from the standard assumption of joint welfare maximization of coalition members, implying ambitious abatement targets and strong free-riding. Instead, it considers that countries agree on modest emission reduction targets. This may sufficiently raise participation so that the success of treaties improves in terms of global emission reduction and global welfare. Thus, modesty may pay, though the first best optimum cannot be achieved.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Finus, 2004. "Modesty Pays: Sometimes!," Working Papers 2004.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.68
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Böhringer, Christoph & Vogt, Carsten, 2002. "Dismantling of a breakthrough: the Kyoto Protocol - just symbolic policy!," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-25, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Henry Tulkens & Parkash Chander, 1997. "The Core of an Economy with Multilateral Environmental Externalities," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 26(3), pages 379-401.
    3. Carlo Carraro & Carmen Marchiori & Sonia Oreffice, 2009. "Endogenous Minimum Participation in International Environmental Treaties," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 411-425, March.
    4. Murdoch, James C. & Sandler, Todd, 1997. "The voluntary provision of a pure public good: The case of reduced CFC emissions and the Montreal Protocol," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 331-349, February.
    5. Michael Hoel & Kerstin Schneider, 1997. "Incentives to participate in an international environmental agreement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 153-170, March.
    6. Parkash Chander & Henry Tulkens, 1995. "A core-theoretic solution for the design of cooperative agreements on transfrontier pollution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 279-293, August.
    7. Petrakis, Emmanuel & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 1996. "Environmental consciousness and moral hazard in international agreements to protect the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 95-110, April.
    8. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1995. "R&D Cooperation and the Stability of International Environmental Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 1154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Alfred Endres & Michael Finus, 2002. "Quotas May Beat Taxes in a Global Emission Game," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(6), pages 687-707, November.
    10. Carlo Carraro & Carmen Marchiori, 2003. "Stable coalitions," Chapters,in: The Endogenous Formation of Economic Coalitions, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arthur Caplan, 2006. "A Comparison of Emission Taxes and Permit Markets for Controlling Correlated Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(4), pages 471-492, August.
    2. Arthur Caplan & Emilson Silva, 2007. "An equitable, efficient and implementable scheme to control global carbon dioxide emissions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(3), pages 263-279, June.
    3. Michael Finus & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Ekko Ierland, 2005. "The effect of membership rules and voting schemes on the success of international climate agreements," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 95-127, July.
    4. Michèle Breton & Lucia Sbragia & Georges Zaccour, 2010. "A Dynamic Model for International Environmental Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 25-48, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International environmental agreements; Internal&external stability; Modest emission reduction;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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