On the Self-Interested Use of Equity in International Climate Negotiations
38 Pages Posted: 3 May 2009 Last revised: 4 Jul 2010
Date Written: April 2009
We discuss self-interested uses of equity arguments in international climate negotiations. Using unique data from a world-wide survey of agents involved in international climate policy, we show that the perceived support of different equity rules by countries or groups of countries may be explained by their economic costs. Despite being self-interested, equity arguments may be perceived as being used for different reasons, for example, out of fairness considerations or in order to facilitate negotiations. Consistent with experimental and behavioral studies on fairness perceptions, we find that individuals are more likely to state reasons with positive attributes if they evaluate their own region or regions that support the individual's personally preferred equity rule. Negotiators perceive the use of equity by regions as less influenced by pressure from interest groups.
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