Towards an understanding of tradeoffs between regional wealth, tightness of a common environmental constraint and the sharing rules
Jacek B., KRAWCZYK
Consider a country with two regions that have developed differently so that their current levels of energy efficiency differ. Each regionÕs production involves the emission of pollutants, on which a regulator might impose restrictions. The restrictions can be related to pollution standards that the regulator perceives as binding the whole country (e.g., enforced by international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol). We observe that the pollution standards define a common constraint upon the joint strategy space of the regions. We propose a game theoretic model with a coupled constraints equilibrium as a solution to the regulatorÕ s problem of avoiding excessive pollution. The regulator can direct the regions to implement the solution by using a political pressure, or compel them to emply it by using the coupled constraintÕs Lagrange multipliers as taxation coefficients. However, to implement the solution, a coupled constraints equilibrium needs to exist and must also be unique. We consider a stylised model that possesses these properties, of the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia. We analyse the regional production levels, which result from the equilibrium, as a function of the pollution standards and of the sharing rules for the satisfaction of the constraint
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