Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 91–109 | Cite as

Do Equity Preferences Matter for Climate Negotiators? An Experimental Investigation



This paper investigates whether climate negotiators have preferences for equity and whether these preferences may help to explain different positions in international climate policy. For this purpose we conducted an online experiment with individuals who had been involved in international climate policy. The experiment consisted of two simple non-strategic games suited to measure individual inequality aversion as captured by the equity preference model of Fehr and Schmidt (Quarterly Journal of Economics 114:817–868, 1999). We find that our participants show an aversion to advantageous inequality to a considerable extent while the aversion to disadvantageous inequality is moderate. Regarding the geographical variety in our sample, we cannot confirm significant differences in the degree of inequality aversion between different regions in the world. Our conclusion is that regional differences in addressing climate change are driven more by national interests than by different equity concerns.


Climate negotiations Economic experiment Individual preferences Inequality aversion 

JEL classification

C91 C92 H41 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)MannheimGermany
  2. 2.Leipzig University of Applied SciencesLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Bochum University of Applied SciencesBochumGermany

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