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Climate politics: How public persuasion affects the trade-off between environmental and economic performance

Fabien Prieur () and Benteng Zou ()

Mathematical Social Sciences, 2018, vol. 96, issue C, 63-72

Abstract: This paper aims at studying the impact of public persuasion, through information dissemination, on environmental and economic performance. A differential game in which opposite interest groups compete for bringing the majority’s environmental concern closer to their views is developed. The results show a strong asymmetry in the impact of public persuasion. It may bring the median voter economy closer to the social optimum in the long run, thereby reducing environmental and economic distortions. But this only occurs when the environmental group exhibits a radical ideology and people are initially closer to the industrialists’ views. By contrast, economies where industrial groups are powerful and strongly opposed to environmental protection never benefit from the outcome of the game of persuasion. This may explain why the US have failed to take action on global warming up to now.

Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Climate politics: How public persuasion affects the trade-off between environmental and economic performance (2018)
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