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“Sanctions and International Interaction Improve Cooperation to Avert Climate Change”

New discussion paper by Alexis Belianin, Heike Hennig-Schmidt, Gianluca Grimalda,Till Requate and Marina V. Ryzhkova

 

2021, PsyArXiv. September 25. doi:https://psyarxiv.com/cbq4p/ 

Abstract :  Imposing sanctions on non-compliant parties to international agreements is advocated as a remedy for international cooperation failure. Nevertheless, sanctions are costly, and rational choice theory predicts their ineffectiveness in solving cooperation problems. Empirically, sanctions were shown to increase cooperation substantially in some cultural areas but to be detrimental in others. We test sanctions' effectiveness experimentally in international collective-risk social dilemmas simulating efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change. We involve individuals from cultural areas where sanctions were shown to have different effectiveness: Russia and Germany. Here we show that, while this result still holds nationally, international interaction backed by sanctions is beneficial. Cooperation by low cooperator groups increases relative to national cooperation and converges to the levels of high cooperators. Moreover, international groups interacting under sanctions contribute more to catastrophe prevention than what is prescribed by the group payoff-maximizing solution. This behavior signals a strong preference for protection against collective risks.