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Strategic choice of stock pollution: Why conservatives (appear to) turn green

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  • Voß, Achim

Abstract

The public management of stock pollutants is an intertemporal problem; today's optimal choice takes the behavior of future governments into account. If a government expects a successor with different environmental preferences - for instance, if Conservatives expect green successors - it must choose strategically. I model this interaction in a two-period game in which the government of each period chooses consumption as a flow variable that adds to a stock of pollution. In this setting, I analyze how the prospect of losing political power changes the incumbent's policy choice. It is shown that both the prospect of a more conservative or of a greener successor reduce present consumption. This implies that losing power in the future makes a conservative government choose a compromise policy today - which may explain why in some countries, conservative governments seem to adopt green policies. By contrast, the expected loss of power makes a green government choose a policy that appears as a radicalization of their position.

Suggested Citation

  • Voß, Achim, 2014. "Strategic choice of stock pollution: Why conservatives (appear to) turn green," CAWM Discussion Papers 66, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cawmdp:66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dieter Helm & Cameron Hepburn & Richard Mash, 2003. "Credible Carbon Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 438-450.
    2. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wang, Le & Mamun, Khawaja A., 2011. "Are politicians office or policy motivated? The case of U.S. governors' environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 241-253, September.
    3. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Withagen, Cees, 2012. "Too much coal, too little oil," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 62-77.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stock Pollution; Political Economy of Environmental Policy; Time Inconsistency; Strategic choice of stock variables; Sequential Game; Partisan Politicians; Ideological Preferences; Green Parties;

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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