Johal, Surjinder and Ulph, Alistair
Globalization, Lobbying and International Environmental Governance
Review of International Economics, 10, (3), .
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Globalization may require supranational coordination of environmental policies to prevent strategic policy competition weakening environmental standards. This raises concerns about a democratic deficit at the supranational level, and the possibility of capture by special interest groups. The authors develop a model in which environmental policy can be set at the national or supranational level. Governments at each level act in the interests of the group they represent, and interest groups lobby to influence the probability of getting their type of government elected.
Using asymmetries in lobbying costs, the authors analyze the effects of a democratic deficit and differential access to influence by different interest groups on the welfare of groups and nations. The paper shows: (i) asymmetries may have unexpected effects; (ii) asymmetries have greater effect when policy is set at the national rather than supranational level; and (iii) despite asymmetries groups and nations are better off when policy is coordinated at the supranational level.
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