Professor Michael Finus
Associate Professor of Economics of Climate Change
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Michael Finus is a Professor of Climate Change Economics at the Department of Economics at Exeter Business School. He has held previous appointments at the University of Stirling, UK and the University of Hagen, Germany. He works in the field of environmental economics and public goods, in particular on international environmental agreements. He has published widely in journals such as the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Social Choice and Welfare, Public Choice, Environmental Resource Economics and Environment and Development Economics. He also published several books such as Game Theory and International Environmental Cooperation (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2001). He is a Member of the Editorial Board of Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, and regularly serves as a referee for journals like American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Games and Economic Behavior and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He also frequently serves on the scientific panel of the annual meetings of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He is currently President-elect of the German Association of Environmental Economists and Visiting Fellow at the Smith Centre, University of Oxford. He is a Lead Author working for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- Game theory
- Public economics
- Environmental economics
- Climate change
Professor Finus is interested in all kinds of economic problems that involve externalities (spillovers) across economic agents, where coordination and cooperation would generate global welfare gains but which typically suffer from 'free-riding' (in other words, not everyone contributes their fair share). He is analysing which factors cause free-riding and how and through which measures this can be mitigated. Many of these problems relate to collective decision making and public and global governance. International and global environmental problems, like climate change and overfishing, are prominent examples.
Professor Finus's current research focuses specifically on:
- Uncertainty, learning, risk and hedging strategies
- Endogenous technological change and issue linkage
- Institutions and instruments for combating climate change
- Primary versus ancillary benefits
- Adaptation versus mitigation
- Sequential evolvement of climate agreements
Theory of cooperation
- Optimal transfers for establishing cooperation
- Existence and uniqueness of coalitional equilibria
Topics on public goods
- Regional fishery management organisations, migration and property rights
- Strategic links between environmental and trade policies
- Optimal protection strategies against piracy
Publications by category
Publications by year
Conferences and invited presentations
- 'The International Dimension of Environmental Economics', Lectures, European Summer School on Resource and Environmental Economics organised by the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM),Venice, Italy, July 2000.
- 'Coalition Theory Network Workshop', Keynote Paper, CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 26-27 January 2001.
- 'International Environmental Agreements', Lectures, DFG Workshop, ZEW, Mannheim, Germany, 18-19 May 2001.
- 'The International Dimension of Environmental Policy Workshop', Keynote Paper, Acquafredda di Maratea, European Science Foundation, Italy, 6-11 October 2001.
- 'Game Theory and the Environment', Lectures, International Summer School organised by the Institute of Mathematics and Game Theory, University of Genoa and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Lavagna, Italy, 2-14 September 2002.
- 'Game Theory and Coalition Formation in International Pollution Control', Lectures, University of Heidelberg, Germany, PhD program 'Environmental and Resource Economics', 13-14 November 2002.
- 'CLIMNEG-Workshop International Environmental Agreements', Invited paper, Leuven, Belgium, 14 March 2003.
- 'Fourth EEP Plenary Workshop and EEP Conference' on 'The Future of Climate Policy', Invited Paper, Cagliari, Italy, 27-28 March 2003.
- DIW Workshop 'International Institutions for Sustainability', Invited Paper, Berlin, Germany, 12-13 June 2003.
- DFG Workshop, Invited Paper, ZEW, Mannheim, Germany, 14 June 2003.
- 'Game Theoretical Analyses of International Environmental Agreements', Lecture, PhD program, Venice International University, Italy, 3-17 May 2004.
- Workshop 'Global Public Goods Management: Lessons from Game Theory and Practice for Post-Kyoto Negotiations', Keynote Paper, organised by University Computense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 17-18 November 2005.
- '6th Meeting on Game Theory and Practice', Keynote Paper, Zaragoza, Spain, 10-12 July 2006.
- PhD Programme, Lecture, Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2 October 2007.
- Workshop 'Discounting and Uncertainty in International Agreements and How to Deal with Policy Recommendations?', Keynote Paper, Workshop organised by the NCCR Climate, Swiss Climate Research and the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 8-10 November 2007.
- '13th Coalition Theory Network Workshop', Keynote Paper, Venice, Italy, 24-25 January 2008.
- Public Debate 'Challenges of Climate Change', Invited Presentation, organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, 10 April 2008.
- International Workshop 'Coalitions for Climate Cooperation. A Game- Theoretic Analysis of Post 2012 Climate Policy', Invited Paper, Venice, Italy, 15-16 June 2009.
- President-elect of the German Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
- Member of Editorial Board, Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences
- Visiting Fellow at the Smith Centre, University of Oxford
- Lead Author working for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- Public economics
- Environmental and resource economics
Professor Finus has a broad interest in analysing how people act in different institutional, political and legal frameworks. Microeconomics provides the basic tool to understand and analyse various incentive schemes that affect people's behaviour. However, not all goods are traded in markets; important exceptions are public goods, like for instance public security, public transport and infrastructure and environmental quality (such as clean air).
The central question is whether governments should play a role in providing these goods (or whether this should be left to private entities) and if so how much should be supplied. Global public goods, such as for instance the eradication of internationally transmitted diseases, the protection of citizens against international terrorism and reducing the threat of climate change, pose a particular challenge to the global community as they can only be provided effectively jointly - contributions by a single or a few countries will either have only a marginal or no effect at all.