Political Science 222 lecture 21.docx Kathryn Harrison: The Regulators Dilemma

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April 10, 2012
Political Science 222
Lecture 20
“Kathryn Harrison: The Regulators Dilemma”
Tells a story about comparative institutional structures
The way that actors act and the strategies that will be feasible, and the outcomes
The underlying institutional structure is the driver
Mobilization story anchored in an interest based story, cost and benefits,
Should be familiar with you now
Tells a story about environmental policies
When one is faced with the choice of amount of pollution we are allowed to spill out, how much is acceptable, it
is never just environmental good and economic good
What decisions do we come to with this trade off?
Understanding government preferences for environmental regulation
o Political mobilization and political risk
Concentrated costs/benefits vs diffuse costs/benefits
Riskier to impose concentrated costs
o Relative strength of industry vs environmentalists
Environmental mobilization can impact preferences
In the end it is better for all of us to have clean air, and a sustainable economy can only be sought out by a
sustainable economy
Governments work on short term cycles, short term political gains, election cycles, must think about the impact
within the next 2-5 years not 25 years, political risk is greater for governments if they sacrifice jobs vs promoting
environmental regulations
She says that moments when environmentalists have been successful happens, but in cycles, pressure to
address environmental regulation in favour of the environment, more constant pressure of protecting jobs
Whither jobs or clean water?
o 4 Types of provinces: resistant, reluctant, independent, competitive
Reluctant/independent are more moderate, cloudy story
Gives us a typology to categorize governments in this way
How can we predict or generate a prediction of what the environmental standard would be
o Game theory: a way of generating predictions given preferences, information and strategies
Methodology of economics
Way of generating predictions
Way of thinking about/formalizing actors of being in a game
Being in a strategic outcome, what I want, what I do
Extreme 1: Two Resistant Provinces
o Preference ordering : IR>RR>II>RI
Resistant provinces has a dominant strategy to do nothing
Predicted outcome: II, even though RR is better for both
Classic Prisoners Dilemma
When provinces are resistant, leads to lack of regulation (Race to the bottom)
If you assign a number to each preference, your most favourite outcome gets a higher number
No matter what the other player does, in your best interest to do nothing,
Two resistant provinces do nothing, then you have inertia, each get zero
If they each did something they would each get one
Both regulated would be optimal
Incentive not to cooperate, and so does the other so neither cooperate
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