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Essays in environmental and cultural economics

Jo, Ara (2018) Essays in environmental and cultural economics. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.bwisfcxzi9h5

Abstract

This thesis approaches the global cooperation problem of climate change mitigation from a cultural standpoint. The research is inspired by the observation that voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions exist and more interestingly that there is heterogeneity in the level of voluntary action across countries. To what extent could this be explained by cultural differences? In Chapter 1, I argue the within-country culture of cooperation sustained by trust – the expectation that a random member of society is trustworthy – positively affects cooperative behavior in the international arena via reputation effects. I theoretically motivate this hypothesis and provide empirical evidence that countries associated with high trust have reduced greenhouse gas emissions more substantially than countries that display low levels of social trust. I further explore this line of argument in Chapter 2 by looking at how trust affects compliance. This chapter provides empirical evidence that trust facilitates firms’ compliance decisions in an international climate change regulation (EU ETS), which makes enforcement less costly in high-trust countries. In Chapter 3, I turn my attention to potential determinants of trust. The paper focuses on the effect of migration on trust among neighbors in the context of Mexico. The findings suggest that migration negatively affects the formation of trust between individuals due to the expected short-term nature of the relationship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Ara Jo
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Gibbons, Steve and Dechezleprêtre, Antoine
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3754

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