Equity preferences and abatement cost sharing in international environmental agreements

Börger, T., Hanley, N. , Johnston, R. J., Meginnis, K. , Ndebele, T., Ali Siyal, G. E. and de Vries, F. (2023) Equity preferences and abatement cost sharing in international environmental agreements. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, (doi: 10.1111/ajae.12392) (Early Online Publication)

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This paper examines empirically the importance of equity preferences for the formation of international environmental agreements (IEA) for transboundary pollution control. Although it has been shown theoretically that the existence of equity preferences among countries considering an IEA increases the chances for formation and stability of a coalition, empirical assessments of such preferences have been limited to climate change mitigation and single-country studies. We consider the case of marine plastic pollution, of which a large share consists of food and beverage containers, representing a transboundary pollution control problem of increasing policy concern, with properties that lead to distinct considerations for equity and the sharing of abatement costs. We employ a coordinated choice experiment in the United Kingdom and United States to assess preferences for abatement-cost allocations in a marine plastics IEA. Pairs of cooperating countries and the relative allocation of abatement costs are varied experimentally. Results show systematic aversion to both advantageous and disadvantageous inequality with respect to abatement costs but also that the relative strength of advantageous and disadvantageous inequality aversion differs across countries. Across both countries, there is evidence that left-leaning voters generally favor more equal international sharing of abatement costs. Differences of these results from the case of greenhouse gas emission reduction, and implications for current efforts to establish a legally binding global treaty on marine plastic pollution, are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was conducted as part of the project “The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution—What Are the Benefits of International Cooperation?” funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ES/S002448/2). Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanley, Professor Nicholas and Meginnis, Dr Keila
Authors: Börger, T., Hanley, N., Johnston, R. J., Meginnis, K., Ndebele, T., Ali Siyal, G. E., and de Vries, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:American Journal of Agricultural Economics
ISSN (Online):1467-8276
Published Online:14 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303314The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the Benefits of International Cooperation?Nicholas HanleyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)100426 - ES/S002448/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine