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Inequality, communication and the avoidance of disastrous climate change

Tavoni, Alessandro, Dannenberg, Astrid, Kallis, Giorgos and Löschel, Andreas (2011) Inequality, communication and the avoidance of disastrous climate change. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment working papers, 34. Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Abstract

International efforts to provide global public goods often face the challenges of coordinating national contributions and distributing costs equitably in the face of uncertainty, inequality, and free-riding incentives. In an experimental setting, we distribute endowments unequally among a group of people who can reach a fixed target sum through successive money contributions, knowing that if they fail they will lose all their remaining money with 50% probability. We find that inequality reduces the prospects of reaching the target, but that communication increases success dramatically. Successful groups tend to eliminate inequality over the course of the game, with rich players signalling willingness to redistribute early on. Our results suggest that coordinative institutions and early redistribution from richer to poorer nations may widen our window of opportunity to avoid global climate calamity.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F18 - Trade and Environment
F - International Economics > F5 - International Relations and International Political Economy > F53 - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q56 - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounting; Environmental Equity
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 34
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 10:35
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37570/

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