Climate Negotiations in the Lab: A Threshold Public Goods Game with Heterogeneous Contributions Costs and Non-binding Voting
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We model the climate negotiations and the countries’ individual commitments to carbon dioxide reductions as a threshold public goods game with uncertain threshold value. We find that a non-binding unanimous voting procedure on contribution vectors leads to frequent agreement on an optimal total contribution and high rates of compliance, even in the case of heterogeneous marginal contribution costs. However, groups that do not reach agreement perform worse than the baseline treatments without a voting procedure. The contribution vectors chosen by the groups point to a predominant burden-sharing rule that equalizes individual contribution costs, even at the cost of the group’s total payoff.
KeywordsBurden sharing Climate change Heterogeneity Threshold public good Threshold uncertainty Unanimous voting
We appreciate helpful comments by Timo Goeschl (the editor), Carlo Gallier, Jan Kersting, Martin Kesternich, and several anonymous reviewers, as well as the participants at the GfeW Jahrestagung 2013, the 51st Annual Meetings of the Public Choice Society, and the 2014 Spring Meeting of Young Economists. Karl-Martin Ehrhart acknowledges funding by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (grant number: 01LA1127B). We also thank Ann-Katrin Hanke and Nayeli Gast-Zepeda for indispensable research assistance.
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Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they do not have any conflicts of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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