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Environmentally Displaced Persons: A Game Theoretic View

The subject of environmentally displaced persons (EDPs) has not received much attention yet. However, the amount of EDPs will increase significantly in the future as a consequence of climate change. This increase could be prevented if developed countries would take adaptation measures, however at the moment they do not take any action.

This desk study looks at the current situation of no action through the Basic Explanatory Framework developed by Scharpf. This framework uses game theory and provides an explanation for the lack of action concerning EDPs, namely the free-rider effect and the prediction that there will be no action.

Furthermore, this thesis contains a comparison of the case of EDPs with the case of climate change and the Kyoto Protocol. Both cases show many similarities but there has been action concerning climate change namely the Kyoto Protocol.

The comparison enforces the prediction that has been made concerning EDPs. Both in the climate change case and the EDPs case, countries will act as free-riders. The Kyoto Protocol has only symbolic value and thus, developed countries have also free-rid in the case of climate change.

Furthermore, eight policy options are provided in this thesis that could increase the incentives for developed countries to take action concerning EDPs: increase incentives, issue linkages, transfers, increase willingness to pay among voters, consensus treaty, coalitions, setting deadlines and supranational organisations.
Source: Linnaeus University
Author: Achten, Kathleen

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