Political institutions and the design of environmental policy in a federal system with asymmetric information

Ulph, Alistair (1998) Political institutions and the design of environmental policy in a federal system with asymmetric information. European Economic Review, 42, (3-5), 583-592. (doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(97)00116-5).


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Policy debates on trade and the environment frequently refer to a need for countries linked by trade to co-ordinate, or even harmonise, their purely domestic environmental policies. Underlying this argument is a concern that national governments will not fully internalise environmental externalities. Conventional trade models suggest this concern is unwarranted and harmonisation may be damaging. In this paper, I consider two possible bases for this concern – strategic trade and political economy considerations – and assess the implications for the design of policy and political institutions to achieve co-ordination. A model which links these two factors suggests a possible rationale for harmonisation of environmental policies, even when countries differ significantly with respect to environmental damage costs.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0014-2921(97)00116-5
ISSNs: 0014-2921 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: environmental policy, international trade, asymmetric information, political economy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Economics
ePrint ID: 33048
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
31 May 1998Published
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 02:30
Trade liberalisation and global design of environmental policy
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (L320253227)
1 October 1996 to 30 September 1998
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/33048

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