Symbolische Umweltpolitik im Zeitalter der Globalisierung? Zur Effektivität internationaler Umweltverträge aus ökonomischer Sicht. [Symbolic environmental policy in the light of globalization? On the efficacy of international environmental agreements from an economic perspective]

Alfred Endres, Michael Finus, Frank Lobigs

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article investigates the efficacy of international environmental agreements (IEAs). It reviews approaches from the political sciences and from economics to measure the efficacy of historical IEAs. It is argued that the current literature is deficient in many respects but that by appropriate extensions an "ideal" method of measurement could be constructed, conceptually. However, due to prohibitive information costs this ideal method is not employed in this article. Instead, we use a simple "theoretical pre-check": We design a basic model which we believe captures the main forces at work in international pollution control. With respect to all possible assumptions underlying this model we choose those which are the most favourable ones regarding the stability and efficacy of an IEA. For these ideal assumptions we derive a necessary condition for the effectiveness of an IEA. Subsequently, we check a large set of existing IEAs to find that no IEA satisfies this condition. This result leads us to discuss the question why IEAs are signed at all if they do not depart from the status sine pacta. It is public choice theory which helps to solve this puzzle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
JournalPerspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2000

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environmental policy
globalization
economics
pollution control
cost
public choice
method
political science
science
public
costs

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title = "Symbolische Umweltpolitik im Zeitalter der Globalisierung? Zur Effektivit{\"a}t internationaler Umweltvertr{\"a}ge aus {\"o}konomischer Sicht. [Symbolic environmental policy in the light of globalization? On the efficacy of international environmental agreements from an economic perspective]",
abstract = "This article investigates the efficacy of international environmental agreements (IEAs). It reviews approaches from the political sciences and from economics to measure the efficacy of historical IEAs. It is argued that the current literature is deficient in many respects but that by appropriate extensions an {"}ideal{"} method of measurement could be constructed, conceptually. However, due to prohibitive information costs this ideal method is not employed in this article. Instead, we use a simple {"}theoretical pre-check{"}: We design a basic model which we believe captures the main forces at work in international pollution control. With respect to all possible assumptions underlying this model we choose those which are the most favourable ones regarding the stability and efficacy of an IEA. For these ideal assumptions we derive a necessary condition for the effectiveness of an IEA. Subsequently, we check a large set of existing IEAs to find that no IEA satisfies this condition. This result leads us to discuss the question why IEAs are signed at all if they do not depart from the status sine pacta. It is public choice theory which helps to solve this puzzle.",
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