Passing It Along: Experiments on Creating the Negative Externalities of Climate Change

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Authors Alessandro del Ponte, Andrew W. Delton, Reuben Kline, Nicholas Seltzer
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Climate change is a global social dilemma. Mitigating it is partly a political problem created by inequitable distributions of the benefits of carbon emissions and the costs of climate change; that is, the people who benefit the most are not the same set of people who pay the most costs. Here we use an experimental economic approach to political science to study these inequities. In two experiments, we show that people willingly create climate problems when those problems are passed along to others. Surprisingly, this is not further exacerbated if those others are from another country. We also show that, with increasing relative losses from climate change, people are more likely to contribute to its mitigation. Thus, we identify a factor that makes preventing climate change difficult and a factor that may lead citizens to contribute to mitigation.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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