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Abstract

Given the global public good properties of climate change mitigation, mitigation efforts have to rely on the willingness of individuals to voluntarily contribute to this public good, either under the form of “green” consumer behavior or through the acceptance of costly climate policy. This paper discusses and reconciles two seminal contributions identifying the rationales for voluntary efforts toward climate change mitigation. Based on the existing literature, it confirms that conditional cooperation may respond to perceived effectiveness and social norms, as suggested by the theory. When the social norm is not visible, conditional cooperation may rely on general beliefs of trustworthiness, i.e. trust. As a result, the conceptual framework of this paper supports the idea of reciprocal countries, thus contributing to endogenize the participation of countries to emissions abatement efforts and to international climate agreements.

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