Self-Enforcing Strategies to Deter Free-Riding in the Climate Change Mitigation Game and Other Repeated Public Good Games

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Vol. 108, pp. 15739-15744, 2011

Posted: 21 Sep 2011

See all articles by Jobst Heitzig

Jobst Heitzig

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)

Kai Lessmann

Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research

Yong Zou

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)

Date Written: April 27, 2011

Abstract

As the Copenhagen Accord indicates, most of the international community agrees that global mean temperature should not be allowed to rise more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to avoid unacceptable damages from climate change. The scientific evidence distilled in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and recent reports by the US National Academies shows that this can only be achieved by vast reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. Still, international cooperation on greenhouse gas emissions reductions suffers from incentives to free-ride and to renegotiate agreements in case of noncompliance, and the same is true for other so-called “public good games.” Using game theory, we show how one might overcome these problems with a simple dynamic strategy of linear compensation when the parameters of the problem fulfill some general conditions and players can be considered to be sufficiently rational. The proposed strategy redistributes liabilities according to past compliance levels in a proportionate and timely way. It can be used to implement any given allocation of target contributions, and we prove that it has several strong stability properties.

Keywords: global warming, international climate agreement, renegotiation proofness

JEL Classification: H41, C7, Q2, Q4

Suggested Citation

Heitzig, Jobst and Lessmann, Kai and Zou, Yong, Self-Enforcing Strategies to Deter Free-Riding in the Climate Change Mitigation Game and Other Repeated Public Good Games (April 27, 2011). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Vol. 108, pp. 15739-15744, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1931243

Jobst Heitzig (Contact Author)

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) ( email )

Telegraphenberg A 31
P.O. Box 60 12 03
Potsdam, Brandenburg 14412
Germany
+49 331 288-2692 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/members/heitzig

Kai Lessmann

Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://https://pik-potsdam.de/members/lessmann

Yong Zou

Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) ( email )

Telegraphenberg
Potsdam, Brandenburg 14412
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
594
PlumX Metrics