Ratchet Up or Down? An Experimental Investigation of Global Public Good Provision in the United Nations Youth Associations Network

25 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2017

See all articles by Carlo Gallier

Carlo Gallier

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Martin Kesternich

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Andreas Löschel

University of Muenster - Chair of Microeconomics, esp. Energy and Resource Economics

Israel Waichmann

Bard College - Bard College Berlin

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

From a current perspective the Paris Agreement is not sufficient to limit the global mean temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial level as intended. The Agreement stipulates that parties review, compare and ratchet up efforts to combat climate change over time. Within this process, commitments heavily depend on what has been already achieved and this status-quo reflects an important reference point serving either as commitment advice or potential threat. We present an experimental study that is specifically designed to incorporate the effect of a status-quo via pre-existing contribution levels under endowment heterogeneity in a game in which participants make voluntary contributions to a public good. Our participants are sampled from the United Nations Youth Associations Network, representing participants from 51 countries. Members from developed and developing countries take decisions against the background of different initial levels of endowments and pre-existing contributions. Our analysis indicates that starting with ambitious pre-existing contribution levels can foster aggregate mitigation levels. Falling behind this status-quo contribution levels by reducing the public good appears to be a strong behavioral barrier. These observations might provide support for the basic structure of the Paris Agreement with Nationally Determined Contributions and the possibility to adjust them, even if a downward revision of national targets may not be precluded.

Keywords: Paris Agreement; Nationally Determined Contributions; Ratched-up mechanism; International public goods; Online experiment

JEL Classification: H41; C91; F53; Q58

Suggested Citation

Gallier, Carlo and Kesternich, Martin and Löschel, Andreas and Waichmann, Israel, Ratchet Up or Down? An Experimental Investigation of Global Public Good Provision in the United Nations Youth Associations Network (2017). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 17-071, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3091619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3091619

Carlo Gallier (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Martin Kesternich

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Andreas Löschel

University of Muenster - Chair of Microeconomics, esp. Energy and Resource Economics ( email )

Universitätsstr. 14-16
48143 Munster
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.uni-muenster.de/eroe

Israel Waichmann

Bard College - Bard College Berlin ( email )

Platanenstr. 24
Berlin, 13156
Germany

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