Rewards and penalties in an evolutionary game theoretic model of international environmental agreements

Muhammad Luqman, Ugur Soytas, Yafei Li, Najid Ahmad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The UNFCC on climate change specifies that all nations must follow the rule of ‘common’ with differentiation regarding their responsibilities for the protection of the global environmental system. Recently, the formulation and stability of the IEA have been increased in the literature by applying the concept of game theory to make the climate agreements successful at the national and the international level. This study provides a novel evolutionary game theoretic model of self-enforcing IEA to overcome the free rider problem. The fundamental difference between our paper and existing literature is that we examine enforcement within a model as IEA has a governing authority while the typical model of enforcement involves a government enforcing a rule that it has imposed. For this purpose, we assign countries into different grades according to their pollution levels, consider a combination of rewards and penalties, use replicator dynamics to derive the conditions for the population steady state, and examine how the proposed regulatory mechanism fares in this steady state. This framework enables us to avoid the free rider and renegotiation problems as well as the rationality assumption. We establish the condition for evolutionary stability. The global environmental problem is managed effectively as a reward-punishment scheme and the monitoring frequency of IEA fulfills this condition. Our results provide an allocation principal with stable conditions under which countries get more benefits by monitoring the IEA and stability of the grand coalition holds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic Research-Ekonomska Istrazivanja
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • evolutionary game theory
  • Free-rider problem
  • international environmental agreements
  • pollution control


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