Notable news
4/7/14 at 11:58 PM 0 Comments

Economists Approve of "Information Manipulation" to Advance United Nations Policy?

text size A A A
Photo: Flickr/woodleywonderworks - Creative Commons

Two university economics professors have authored a peer-reviewed research paper on the role of "information manipulation" - the exaggeration of "climate change" - to advance international environmental policy agreements.

Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Fuhai Hong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology assistant professor Xiaojian Zhao authored the paper "Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements" for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The research paper abstract states the following:

It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.

Climate Depot, Jayson Lusk and others offered critical commentary which resulted in the authors making a public statement to clear up any confusion: "We never advocate lying on climate change."

From the public statement it is possible to infer that the professors support international government to police environmental policy.

The main difficulty of the climate problem is that it is a global public problem and we lack an international government to regulate it; the strong free riding incentives lead to a serious under-participation in an IEA. We show that the media bias may have an ex post instrumental value as the over-pessimism from media bias may alleviate the under-participation problem to some extent.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).