183 research outputs found

    Votes and Lobbying in the European Decision-Making Process: Application to the European Regulation on GMO Release

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    The paper presents a multi-agent model simulating a two-level public decision game in which politicians, voters and interest groups interact. The objective is to model the political market for influence at the domestic level and at the international level, and to assess how new consultation procedures affect the final decision. It is based on public choice theory as well as on political science findings. We consider in this paper that lobbying groups have different strategies for influencing voters and decision-makers, with long-term and short-term effects. Our computational model enables us to represent the situation as an iterative process, in which past decisions have an impact on the preferences and choices of agents in the following period. In the paper, the model is applied to the European decision-making procedure for authorizing the placing on the market of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). It illustrates the political links between public opinions, lobbying groups and elected representatives at the national scale in the 15 country members, and at the European scale. It compares the procedure which was defined by the European 1990/220 Directive in 1990 with the new procedure, the 2001/18 Directive, which replaced it in 2001. The objective is to explore the impact of the new decision rules and the reinforced public participation procedures planned by the 2001/18 Directive on the lobbying efficiency of NGOs and biotechnology firms, and on the overall acceptability of the European decision concerning the release of new GMOs on the European territory.Lobbying, Europe, GMO, Multi-Agent Simulation, Public Choice, Politician, Voter, Group Contest

    Multi-Unit Auctions to Allocate Water Scarcity Simulating Bidding Behaviour with Agent Based Models

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    Multi-unit auctions are promising mechanisms for the reallocation of water. The main advantage of such auctions is to avoid the lumpy bid issue. However, there is great uncertainty about the best auction formats when multi-unit auctions are used. The theory can only supply the structural properties of equilibrium strategies and the multiplicity of equilibria makes comparisons across auction formats difficult. Empirical studies and experiments have improved our knowledge of multi- unit auctions but they remain scarce and most experiments are restricted to two bidders and two units. Moreover, they demonstrate that bidders have limited rationality and learn through experience. This paper constructs an agent-based model of bidders to compare the performance of alternative auction formats under circumstances where bidders submit continuous bid supply functions and learn over time to adjust their bids to improve their net incomes. We demonstrate that under the generalized Vickrey, simulated bids converge towards truthful bids as predicted by the theory and that bid shading is the rule for the uniform and discriminatory auctions. Our study allows us to assess the potential gains from agent-based modelling approaches in the assessment of the dynamic performance of multi-unit procurement auctions. Some recommendations on the desirable format of water auctions are provided.Multi-unit auctions, Learning, Multi-agent models, Water allocation

    Agri-environmental auctions with synergies

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    Auctions are increasingly used in agri-environmental contracting. However, the issue of synergy effect between agri-environmental measures has been consistently overlooked, both by decision-makers and by the theoretical literature on conservation auction. Based on laboratory experiments, the objective of this paper is to compare the performance of different procurement auction designs (simultaneous, sequential and combinatorial) in the case of multiple heterogeneous units where bidders may potentially want to sell more than one unit and where their supply cost structure displays positive synergies. The comparison is made by using two performance criteria: budget efficiency and allocative efficiency. We also test if performance results are affected by information feedback to bidders after each auction period. Finally we explain performance results by the analysis of bidding behaviour in the three mechanisms.

    What shapes farmers' attitudes towards agri-environmental payments : A case study in Lozere

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    Agri-environment schemes were introduced into the Common agricultural policy (CAP) in 1992 as a financial instrument to support farming practices contributing to protect the environment and to preserve natural resources. They are based on the voluntary provision of environmental services (above and beyond the regulatory duty of care level) by farmers on their private land in return for a compensatory payment by the EU and the member state. Agri-environmental measures are the object of a contract between individual farmers and the environmental service purchaser (the state or the environmental public authority), specifying the actions that should be undertaken, the contract length, the control method and the payments made to farmers.

    Multi-Unit Auctions and Competition Stricture

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    Is it better for a seller who wants to auction multiple units to face many small bidders or few large bidders? Since multi-unit auction models usually have many equilibria, there are no theoretical predictions on the impact of the competition structure on the performance of a multi-unit auction (in terms of expected revenue and allocation efficiency). Our experimental results with uniform-price auctions support that with a constant competition degree (identical aggregate demand and supply), when the number of bidders increases while individual demand decreases, there is less strategic bidding (demand reduction). It leads to higher expected revenue with a lower variance but allocation efficiency is not significantly different.

    Synergy effects of international policy instruments to reduce deforestation: a cross-country panel data analysis

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    Safeguarding tropical rainforests is one of the most important challenges for the future, particularly to mitigate climate change. The international community has actively sought international policy solutions to curb deforestation in tropical countries. Debt-for-nature swaps and certification of sustainable forest management have been implemented by NGOs. Some states are currently negotiating the implementation of the REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) mechanism, a North-South financial transfer to compensate countries for avoided deforestation. However, little is known about the efficiency of these instruments. We argue that they may have a double effect: an expected direct impact on deforestation linked to the conditionalities of instruments, and an indirect impact due to their feedback effects on macroeconomic variables, affecting in turn the drivers of deforestation. The second effect is often overlooked by policy makers [...].

    Agriculture production versus biodiversity protection: what role for north-south unconditional transfers?

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    In developing countries, biodiversity is often threatened by the development of agricultural production because natural habitats are destroyed by the conversion of forests, wetlands or natural pastures into arable land. There is a trade-o¤ between revenues generated by agricultural production and services supplied by unspoilt natural capital (ecological services, possibility to develop biodiversity-related tourism activities). Whereas agricultural pro.ts are private, biodiversity produces various types of ben[...].

    The REDD scheme to curb deforestation: A well-designed system of incentives?

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    Bioprospection is, largely, meant to help reducing deforestation and, the other way around, stopping deforestation enhances the prospects of bioprospection. The need for a global agreement to the problem of tropical deforestation has led to the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) scheme, which proposes that developed countries pay developing countries for CO2 emissions saved through avoided deforestation and degradation. The remaining issue at stake is to definer the rules defning payments to countries reducing their deforestation rate. This article develops a game-theoretic bargaining model, simulating the on-going negotiation process which is currently taking place within the Convention of Climate Change, after the Copenhagen agreement of December 2009. It shows that the conditions under which developing countries are left to bargain over the allocation of the global forest fund may lead to an ineffective system of incentives. Below a given level of contributions from the North, the mechanism fails to curb the deforestation. Beyond this level, it induces perverse effects: the larger the North's contribution, the larger the deforestation rate. Consequently, the mechanism is most effective only at a specifc threshold level which, given the unobservability of countries'preferences, can only be found by a repeated "trial and error" implementation process.

    Implementation of national and international REDD mechanism under alternative payments for environemtal services: theory and illustration from Sumatra

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    This paper develops an analytical model of a REDD+ mechanism with an international payment tier and a national payment tier, and calibrate land users' opportunity cost curves based on data from Sumatra. We compare the avoided deforestation and cost-eciency of government purchases across the two types of contracts fixed price and opportunity cost, and across two government types "benevolent" and "budget maximizing". Our paper shows that a fixed-price scheme is likely to be more efficient than an opportunity-cost compensation scheme at low international carbon prices, when the government is "benevolent" or when variation in opportunity cost within land users is high relative to variation in opportunity cost across land users. Thus, a PES program which pays local communities or land users based on the value of the service provided by avoided deforestation may not only distribute REDD revenue more equitably than an opportunity cost-based payment system, but may be more cost-efficient as well.
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