A game theoretic analysis of international environmental pollution
Risk, Decision and Policy, 1, (1), .
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This paper surveys theories of international environmental agreements. Central to the analysis is the recognition that countries assess the costs and benefits of acting cooperatively in a game theoretic way. Two hypotheses emerge: (i) cooperation is easier to sustain than standard Prisoners' Dilemma models suggest; and (ii) significant cooperation is unlikely to be achieved, especially when the gains from doing so are largest. Discussion is confined (with little loss of generality) to the case study of acid rain. Comparison of the theoretical predictions with the Second Sulphur Protocol indicate qualitative support for the second hypothesis: the protocol, it seems, achieves little more than a codification of non-cooperative behaviour.
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