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Game Models of Environmental Policy in an Open Economy

  • Batabyal, Amitrajeet A.

In this paper we study some aspects of the question of international environmental regulation from a game theoretic perspective. We address two broad questions. First, we examine the circumstances under which the pursuit of unilateral environmental policy by a country in a Stackelberg game will make that country worse off. Second, we study the effects of environmental regulation by means of alternate price control instruments in a Stackelberg game where there is transboundary pollution. We find that there are plausible theoretical circumstances in which the pursuit of unilateral environmental policy is not a good idea. Further, we show that in choosing between alternate pollution control instruments, national governments typically face a tradeoff between instruments which correct more distortions but are costly to implement and instruments which correct fewer distortions but are less costly to implement. In particular, we obtain a dominance result for a tariff policy; this result favors the use of tariffs from an informational standpoint alone.

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Paper provided by Utah State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9511.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in Annals of Regional Science 30(2, 1996):185- 200
Handle: RePEc:usu:wpaper:9511
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  1. McGuire, Martin C., 1982. "Regulation, factor rewards, and international trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 335-354, April.
  2. Pethig, Rudiger, 1976. "Pollution, welfare, and environmental policy in the theory of Comparative Advantage," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 160-169, February.
  3. Markusen James R. & Morey Edward R. & Olewiler Nancy D., 1993. "Environmental Policy when Market Structure and Plant Locations Are Endogenous," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-86, January.
  4. Tobey, James A, 1990. "The Effects of Domestic Environmental Policies on Patterns of World Trade: An Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209.
  5. Markusen, James R., 1975. "International externalities and optimal tax structures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29, February.
  6. Merrifield, John D., 1988. "The impact of selected abatement strategies on transnational pollution, the terms of trade, and factor rewards: A general equilibrium approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 259-284, September.
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