Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Are international environmental agreements stable ex-post?

Beard, Rodney and Mallawaarachchi, Thilak (2011): Are international environmental agreements stable ex-post?

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Abstract

In this paper we present a model of international environmental agreements in the presence of threshold effects. The model is in the tradition of models of international environmental agreements formulated as games in partition function form. Games in partition function form allow the incorporation of external effects between players. The model is applied to global climate change agreements. The agreement involves a contract between nations as to the level of abatement of greenhouse gas emissions and how these benefits are to be shared. Benefits to emissions abatement are subject to a threshold. Consequently, we model climate as a global threshold public good. This allows a mechanism to explore incentives and disincentives for signing agreements consequent to a critical number of other players committing to an agreement. We show that thresholds may destabilize what would be an otherwise stable agreement and that combining an emissions tax with an international agreement can be used to restore stability.

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