Do voluntary international environmental agreements work?
We consider the effects of international environmental agreements, using the Sofia Protocol on the reduction of nitrogen oxides. Our analysis utilizes panel data from 25 European countries for the period 1980–96. We divide these countries into “participants” and “non-participants”—that is, those that did and those that did not ratify the Sofia Protocol, respectively. Using a difference in difference estimator, we find that signing the treaty has a significant positive impact on emission reduction. The yearly reduction is approximately 2.4 percent greater than it would have been without the Sofia Protocol.
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