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Forging a global environmental agreement through trade sanctions on free riders?

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Abstract

This paper studies the formation of self-enforcing global environmental agreements in a world economy with international trade and two groups of countries that differ with respect to fuel demand and environmental damage. It investigates whether the signatories’ threat to embargo (potential) free riders secures all countries’ participation in the agreement. Resorting to numerical analysis, we find that an embargo may be unnecessary, ineffective or even counterproductive - depending on the degree of asymmetry and other parameters. On some subset of parameters, the embargo stabilizes the otherwise unstable global agreement, but the threat of embargo is not credible. However, in some of these cases credibility can be restored by suitable intra-coalition transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2014. "Forging a global environmental agreement through trade sanctions on free riders?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 171-14, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  • Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:171-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rüdiger, 2013. "Self-enforcing environmental agreements and international trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 37-50.
    2. Effrosyni Diamantoudi & Eftichios S. Sartzetakis, 2006. "Stable International Environmental Agreements: An Analytical Approach," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 247-263, May.
    3. Steve Charnovitz, 2007. "The WTO's Environmental Progress," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 685-706, September.
    4. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-894, Supplemen.
    5. Joshua Elliott & Ian Foster & Samuel Kortum & Todd Munson & Fernando Pérez Cervantes & David Weisbach, 2010. "Trade and Carbon Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 465-469, May.
    6. Matthew McGinty, 2007. "International environmental agreements among asymmetric nations," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 45-62, January.
    7. Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2018. "Global Environmental Agreements and International Trade: Asymmetry of Countries Matters," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 7(3-4), pages 281-316, February.
    8. Claude d'Aspremont & Alexis Jacquemin & Jean Jaskold Gabszewicz & John A. Weymark, 1983. "On the Stability of Collusive Price Leadership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 17-25, February.
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    10. Barrett, Scott, 1997. "The strategy of trade sanctions in international environmental agreements," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 345-361, November.
    11. Kemfert, Claudia, 2004. "Climate coalitions and international trade: assessment of cooperation incentives by issue linkage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 455-465, March.
    12. Lessmann, Kai & Marschinski, Robert & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2009. "The effects of tariffs on coalition formation in a dynamic global warming game," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 641-649, May.
    13. Barrett, Scott, 2001. "International cooperation for sale," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1835-1850, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    embargo; trade; asymmetry; free rider; fuel demand; climate damage;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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