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Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements Revisited

  • Alistair Ulph


    (University of Manchester)

  • Santiago J. Rubio


    (Universitat de València)

In Barrett's (1994) paper on transboundary pollution abatement is shown that if the signatories of an international environmental agreement act in a Stackelberg fashion, then, depending on parameter values, a self-enforcing IEA can have any number of signatories between two and the grand coalition. Barrett obtains this result using numerical simulations and also ignoring the fact that emissions must be non-negative. Recent attempts to use analytical approaches and to explicitly recognize the non-negativity constraints have suggested that the number of signatories of a stable IEA may be very small. The way such papers have dealt with non-negativity constraints is to restrict parameter values to ensure interior solutions for emissions. We argue that a more appropriate approach is to use Kuhn-Tucker conditions to derive the equilibrium of the emissions game. When this is done we show, analytically, that the key results from Barrett's paper go through. Finally, we explain why his main conclusion is correct although his analysis can implicitly imply negative emissions.

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Paper provided by Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) in its series Working Papers. Serie AD with number 2004-23.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by Ivie
Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2004-23
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  1. Michael Hoel & Kerstin Schneider, 1997. "Incentives to participate in an international environmental agreement," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(2), pages 153-170, March.
  2. Wagner, Ulrich J, 2001. " The Design of Stable International Environmental Agreements: Economic Theory and Political Economy," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 377-411, July.
  3. Chander, Parkash & Tulkens, Henry, 1994. "A Core-Theoretic Solution for the Design of Cooperative Agreements on Transfrontier Pollution," Working Papers 897, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Debraj Ray & Rajiv Vohra, 2001. "Coalitional Power and Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1355-1384, December.
  5. Rubio, Santiago J. & Ulph, Alistair, 2007. "An infinite-horizon model of dynamic membership of international environmental agreements," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 296-310, November.
  6. Effrosyni Diamantoudi & Sartzetakis, Eftichios, . "Stable International Environmental Agreements: An Analytical Approach," Economics Working Papers 2001-10, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  7. Rubio, S. & Ulph, A., 2002. "A simple dynamic model of international environmental agreements with a stock pollutant," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0209, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  8. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
  9. Ecchia, Giulio & Mariotti, Marco, 1998. "Coalition formation in international environmental agreements and the role of institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 573-582, May.
  10. Henry Tulkens & Parkash Chander, 1997. "The Core of an Economy with Multilateral Environmental Externalities," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 379-401.
  11. TULKENS, Henry, 1997. "Cooperation vs. free riding in international environmental affairs: two approaches," CORE Discussion Papers 1997052, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Rubio, S. & Ulph, A., 2002. "Leadership and self-enforcing international environmental agreements with non-negative emissions," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0211, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  13. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis & GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & WEYMARK, John A., . "On the stability of collusive price leadership," CORE Discussion Papers RP 522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
  15. Effrosyni Diamantoudi & Eftichios S. Sartzetakis, . "International Environmental Agreements -The Role of Foresight," Economics Working Papers 2002-10, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. Michael Hoel, 1992. "International environment conventions: The case of uniform reductions of emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 141-159, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Santiago J. Rubio, 2001. "International Cooperation In Pollution Control," Working Papers. Serie AD 2001-21, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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