English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Informational Benefits of International Environmental Agreements Vesa Kanniainen; Panu Poutvaara; Amihai Glazer; ...

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Informational Benefits of International Environmental Agreements
Author
  • Vesa Kanniainen
  • Panu Poutvaara
  • Amihai Glazer
  • Stef Proost
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • This paper develops a theory of consumer boycotts. Some consumers care not only about the products they buy but also about whether the firm behaves ethically. Other consumers do not care about the behavior of the firm but yet may like to give the impression of being ethical consumers. Consequently, to affect a firm's ethical behavior, moral consumers refuse to buy from an unethical firm. Consumers who do not care about ethical behavior may join the boycott to (falsely) signal that they do care. In the firm's choice between ethical and unethical behavior, the optimality of mixed and pure strategies depends on the cost of behaving ethically. In particular, when the cost is (relatively) low, ethical behavior arises from a prisoners' dilemma as the firm's optimal strategy.
  • Firm's ethical code; Consumer morality; Boycotts
  • RePEc:irv:wpaper:070818
  • Given the difficulty of monitoring, and even more so of enforcing, International Environmental Agreements, it is surprising that they are signed and implemented. This paper offers a theoretical model, which addresses this issue. The focus is on informational and coordination problems. A country which is unsure about the benefits of environmental policy may find that the benefits are higher the greater the number of other countries which lean towards taking action. Whereas each country may individually take weak environmental action, in equilibrium several countries may take strong action if they expect others to. An International Environmental Agreement can thus be selfenforcing. Such effects can appear even if international environmental spillovers are absent, and even if monitoring and enforcement are infeasible. Our approach can explain additional phenomena: why a country known to care little about the environment may deeply influence other countries if it takes strong environmental action, why lags may appear between the signing of an agreement and its implementation, and how requirements for approval by several bodies within a country can increase support for environmental action.
  • RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0814
  • Given that it is difficult to monitor, and even more so to enforce, International Environmental Agreements, it is surprising that they are signed and implemented. This paper offers a theoretical model, which addresses the phenomena. The focus is on informational and coordination problems--a country which is unsure about the benefits of environmental policy may believe that the benefits are higher the greater the number of other countries which lean towards taking action. Whereas each country may individually take no environmental action, in equilibrium several countries may take environmental action if they expect others to. An International Environmental Agreement can thus be self-enforcing. Such effects can appear even if international environmental spillovers are absent, and even if monitoring and enforcement are infeasible. Our approach can explain additional phenomena: why a country that is known to care little about the environment may deeply influence other countries if it takes environmental action, why lags may appear between the signing of an agreement and its implementation, and how requirements for approval by several bodies within a country can increase support for environmental action.
  • Environmental policy; International agreements; Signaling; Regulation
  • RePEc:irv:wpaper:070810
Language
  • English
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