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Abstract

The global commons represents a class of environmental problems that require international cooperation. Global environmental problems arise because the actions of some individuals or governments in one location hold serious implications for individuals and governments in other locations. There are global environmental policy problems because adversely-affected individuals (and governments) attempt to alter the behaviors of those responsible for global pollution. We develop a framework with which to analyze such global environmental problems. Our goal is to craft a resource management policy that will satisfy both those who seek a change and those who prefer the current situation. This environmental incentive policy will align the interests of the two parties. Incentive alignment is the policy problem in the global commons. That is, we must find ways to align interests through realigning incentives for individual and group behaviors.

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