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The influence of lobbying on climate policies; or, why the world might fail13

  • John C. V. Pezzey (a1)

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How can the malign and growing influence of lobbying on global climate policies be checked? In this short piece I link some wide-ranging suggestions for academic research by environment and development economists that is needed to further this aim, with the key idea in Acemoglu and Robinson's (2012) Why Nations Fail. Their book argues strongly that sustained, very long-term economic growth through national industrial revolutions requires ‘inclusive institutions’ that distribute political power broadly over a nation's economic, class and geographical sectors. This is because long-term growth needs technical innovations, which cause creative destruction (structural adjustment) of existing technologies, which in turn harms the interests of existing elites. If elites are too powerful, they will block new technologies, so as to keep their powers to extract rents from the rest of society, and the nation will then fail (to grow sustainably).

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13

The author thanks Paul Burke, Richard Damania, Tristan Edis, Clive Hamilton, Dieter Helm, Axel Michaelowa, Deborah Peterson, Mike Raupach, Will Steffen and Gert Svendsen for helpful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.

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Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, New York: Crown Business.
Barrett, S. (2009), ‘The coming global climate-technology revolution’, Journal of Economic Perspectives 23(2): 5375.
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Hasen, R.L. (2011), ‘Citizens United and the illusion of coherence’, Michigan Law Review 109: 581623.
Helm, D. (2010), ‘Government failure, rent-seeking and capture: the design of climate change policy’, Oxford Review of Environmental Policy 26: 182196.
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The influence of lobbying on climate policies; or, why the world might fail13

  • John C. V. Pezzey (a1)

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