Self-enforcing International Environmental Agreements with Costly Monitoring for Compliance

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dave McEvoy Ph.D., Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Theoretical analyses of international environmental agreements (IEAs) have often employed the concept of self-enforcing agreements to predict the number of parties to such an agreement. The term self-enforcing, however, is a bit misleading. The concept refers to the stability of cooperative agreements, not to enforcing compliance with these agreements once they are in place. In this paper we analyze an IEA game in which parties to an agreement finance an independent monitor who audits the compliance performance of the members of an agreement. These audits reveal instances of noncompliance so they can be sanctioned. We find that costly monitoring of compliance limits the circumstances under which international cooperation to protect the environment is worthwhile, but when IEAs do form they will often involve greater participation than IEAs that do not require costly monitoring. Consequently, costly monitoring of IEAs can produce higher international environmental quality. Moreover, under certain conditions, aggregate welfare is higher when IEAs require costly monitoring.

Additional Information

McEvoy, David and John K. Stranlund. (2009) Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements with Costly Monitoring for Compliance. Environmental and Resource Economics, 42(4): 491-508. Published by Springer (ISSN: 0924-6460) DOI 10.1007/s10640-008-9220-1
Language: English
Date: 2008

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