Ratchet up or down? : an experimental investigation of global public good provision in the United Nations Youth Associations Network


Gallier, Carlo ; Kesternich, Martin ; Löschel, Andreas ; Waichman, Israel


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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/43943
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-439438
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2017
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 17-071
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: H41 , C91 , F53 , Q58,
Keywords (English): Paris agreement , nationally determined contributions , ratched-up mechanism , international public goods , online experiment
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.

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Gallier, Carlo ; Kesternich, Martin ; Löschel, Andreas ; Waichman, Israel (2017) Ratchet up or down? : an experimental investigation of global public good provision in the United Nations Youth Associations Network. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 17-071 [Working paper]
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