The literature on the “resource curse” has strongly emphasized that large incomes from resource endowments may have adverse effects on the growth prospects of a country. Conceivably the income generated from emission permit allocations, as suggested in the context of international climate policy, could have a comparable impact. Effects of a “climate rent curse” have so far not been considered in the design of permit allocation schemes. In this study, we first determine when to expect a climate rent curse conceptually by analyzing its potential channels. We then use a numerical model to explore the extent of consequences that a climate rent curse would have on international climate agreements. We show that given the susceptibility to a curse, permit allocation schemes may fail to encourage the participation of recipient countries in an international mitigation effort. We present transfer schemes that enhance cooperation and limit adverse effects on recipients.
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