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Regional cooperation, and the role of international organizations and regional integration

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Author Info

  • Schiff, Maurice
  • Winters, L. Alan

Abstract

The authors examine regional cooperation among neighboring countries in the area of regional public goods. These public goods include water basins (such as lakes, rivers, and underground water), infrastructure (such as roads, railways, and dams), energy, and the environment. Their analysis focuses on developing countries and the potentially beneficial role that international organizations and regional integration may play in bringing the relevant countries to a cooperative equilibrium. A major problem in reaching a cooperative solution is likely tobe the lack of trust. If neighboring countries do not trust each other because of past problems, they may fail to reach a cooperative solution as each tries to maximize its gain from the regional public good. These strategies typically do not account for spillover effects and ultimately leads to losses for all parties. Other constraints on reaching a cooperative solution are its complexity and the financial requirements. Two types of institutions may help resolve some or all of these problems. International organizations can help with trust, expertise, and financing. The United Nations and the World Bank have been involved in a number of such projects in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, and have been successful in helping parties reach cooperative solutions. Regional integration agreements, though not necessary for regional cooperation, may also be helpful by embedding the negotiations on regional cooperation in a broader institutional framework. The authors examine these issues with the support of both analysis and a number of case studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2872.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2872

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Related research

Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Water and Industry; Decentralization; Water Conservation; Common Property Resource Development; Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions; Water and Industry; Water Conservation; Environmental Economics&Policies; Common Property Resource Development;

References

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  1. Casella, Alessandra, 1994. "Trade as an Engine of Political Change: A Parable," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(243), pages 267-84, August.
  2. Dinar, Ariel & Wolf, Aaron T., 1997. "Economic And Political Considerations In Regional Cooperation Models," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 26(1), April.
  3. Hearne, R.R. & Easter, K.W., 1995. "Water Allocation and Water Markets. An Analysis of Gains-from-Trade in Chile," Papers 315, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  4. Barret, Scott & DEC, 1994. "Conflict and cooperation in managing international water resources," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1303, The World Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pomfret, Richard, 2007. "Coordinating Aid for Regional Cooperation Projects: The Experience of Central Asia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 2004. "The Design of Transnational Public Good Mechanisms for Developing Countries," IDEI Working Papers 267, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Lucio Castro, 2005. "Regional Trade Integration in East Africa: Trade and Revenue Impacts of the Planned East African Community Customs Union," International Trade 0509005, EconWPA.
  4. Choudhury, Saswati, 2009. "Towards Sub-regional cooperation: India’s Northeast and Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 34991, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2009.
  5. Maur, Jean-Christophe, 2008. "Regionalism and trade facilitation : a primer," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4464, The World Bank.
  6. repec:idb:brikps:46858 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Pasadilla, Gloria O., 2004. "East Asian Cooperation: The ASEAN View," Discussion Papers DP 2004-27, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

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