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On the Self-serving Use of Equity Principles in International Climate Negotiations

Author

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  • Lange, Andreas
  • Löschel, Andreas
  • Vogt, Carsten
  • Ziegler, Andreas

Abstract

This paper puts forward equity as an important structural element to understanding negotiation outcomes. We first advance bargaining theory to incorporate the self-serving use of equity. Agents are predicted to push equity principles which benefit them more than other parties, in particular those which are disadvantageous to parties with large bargaining power. Based on unique data from a world-wide survey of agents involved in international climate policy, we then study how participants assess the support of the equity criteria by major parties in the climate negotiations. Comparing these results with cost estimates from a POLES model, we find that the perceived equity preferences of the respective countries or groups of countries are in general consistent with our hypothesis of a self-serving use of equity criteria and thereby lend support for our theoretical model. While this self-interest is recognized by the participants of our survey for the positions of the USA and the G77/China as well as Russia, the EU manages to be seen as choosing (self-serving) equity arguments out of fairness concerns and in order to facilitate the negotiations.

Suggested Citation

  • Lange, Andreas & Löschel, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten & Ziegler, Andreas, 2007. "On the Self-serving Use of Equity Principles in International Climate Negotiations," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-025, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5588
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/24585/1/dp07025.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
    2. Lasse Ringius & Asbjørn Torvanger & Arild Underdal, 2002. "Burden Sharing and Fairness Principles in International Climate Policy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, March.
    3. Lange, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten & Ziegler, Andreas, 2007. "On the importance of equity in international climate policy: An empirical analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 545-562, May.
    4. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-894, Supplemen.
    5. Lin Zhou, 1997. "The Nash Bargaining Theory with Non-Convex Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 681-686, May.
    6. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    7. Shogren, Jason F. & Toman, Michael, 2000. "Climate Change Policy," Discussion Papers 10767, Resources for the Future.
    8. Lange, Andreas, 2004. "The Impact of Equity-preferences on the Stability of Heterogeneous International Agreements," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-50, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Andreas Lange (U Hamburg) on Why Fairness Principles Matter to International Climate Change Negotiations
      by ? in Economics NOW on 2011-08-25 16:52:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Kverndokk, Snorre & Rose, Adam, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 135-176, October.
    2. Alfred Endres, 2008. "Ein Unmöglichkeitstheorem für die Klimapolitik?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 350-382, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bargaining theory; equity criteria; self-serving bias; climate policy; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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