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Does precipitation and runoff variability affect treaty cooperation between states sharing international bilateral rivers?

  • Dinar, Ariel
  • Blankespoor, Brian
  • Dinar, Shlomi
  • Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep

Elevated world temperatures, as forecasted by the 4th IPCC report, are expected to increase the hydrological cycle activity, leading to a change in precipitation patterns and increase in evapotranspiration. These in turn are expected to affect river runoff and water variability, depending on basin latitude. In this paper, we assess the impact of water supply variability on 'treaty cooperation' (defined here as the likelihood of treaty formation and number of treaties formed) between international bilateral river basin riparian states. The water variability measure that we use captures both annual runoff variability and precipitation variability. We employ additional control variables adopted from economic and international relations theories on international cooperation. The main results suggest that water supply variability in international bilateral basins creates an impetus for cooperation. Our results support an inverted U-shaped relationship between water supply variability and treaty cooperation. Similarly, interactions between the states in the form of diplomatic and trade relations support cooperation. Various measures of democracy/governance suggest different impacts on cooperation. Uneven economic power between the riparian states inhibits treaty cooperation. The geography variables we use are insignificant in all the estimated relationships.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 2568-2581

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:12:p:2568-2581
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Ambec, S. & Sprumont, Y., 2000. "Sharing a River," Papers 00-06, Laval - Recherche en Energie.
  2. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
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  4. Ambec, Stefan & Ehlers, Lars, 2008. "Sharing a river among satiable agents," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-50, September.
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  8. Janmaat, Johannus & Ruijs, Arjan, 2007. "Sharing the load? Floods, droughts, and managing international rivers," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 573-592, August.
  9. Sigman Hilary, 2003. "Does Trade Promote Environmental Coordination?: Pollution in International Rivers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-26, December.
  10. Young, Oran R., 1989. "The politics of international regime formation: managing natural resources and the environment," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 349-375, June.
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  12. Congleton, Roger D, 1992. "Political Institutions and Pollution Control," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 412-21, August.
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