Real governments are at least to some extent also motivated by the objective of maximizing their political income. In a standard political economy model, this means that governments try to maximize their chance of being re-elected. In order to do so, they have to obey the preferences of their pivotal voter, who may be approximately identical to the median voter in a democracy. Thus, national median voters clearly impose a restriction on what would be acceptable to a government in international environmental negotiations (IEN). Ultimately, one would expect a government only to enter into agreements that would be acceptable to the relevant pivotal voter. Surprisingly, this fact has been widely ignored in the literature. Particularly, one would expect ‘green preferences’ of national pivotal voters to lead to more ambitious contributions to global public goods than would be predicted by standard models. The article is dedicated to the investigation of this conjecture.
Vogt, Carsten (2002), On the Political Economy of International Environmental Agreements - Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence, in: Böhringer, Christoph, Finus, Michael and Carsten Vogt New Horizons in Environmental Economics,, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 178-213.
International environmental Policy, political economy