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Do Equity Preferences Matter for Climate Negotiators? An Experimental Investigation


This paper investigates whether climate negotiators have preferences for equity and whether these preferences may help to explain different positions in international climate policy. For this purpose we conducted an online experiment with individuals who had been involved in international climate policy. The experiment consisted of two simple non-strategic games suited to measure individual inequality aversion as captured by the equity preference model of Fehr and Schmidt (Quarterly Journal of Economics 114:817–868, 1999). We find that our participants show an aversion to advantageous inequality to a considerable extent while the aversion to disadvantageous inequality is moderate. Regarding the geographical variety in our sample, we cannot confirm significant differences in the degree of inequality aversion between different regions in the world. Our conclusion is that regional differences in addressing climate change are driven more by national interests than by different equity concerns.

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Correspondence to Astrid Dannenberg.

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This paper has not been submitted elsewhere in identical or similar form, nor will it be during the first three months after its submission to the Publisher.

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Dannenberg, A., Sturm, B. & Vogt, C. Do Equity Preferences Matter for Climate Negotiators? An Experimental Investigation. Environ Resource Econ 47, 91–109 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-010-9366-5

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  • Climate negotiations
  • Economic experiment
  • Individual preferences
  • Inequality aversion

JEL classification

  • C91
  • C92
  • H41