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Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements


  • Barrett, Scott


Effective management of international environmental resources requires cooperation, and in practice cooperation is usually codified in international environmental agreements (IEAs). The essential feature of IEAs is that they cannot be enforced by a third party. This paper explores the properties of self-enforcing IEAs using two models. In one, the number of signatories, the terms of the agreement, and the actions of nonsignatories are determined jointly. In the other, the IEA is modeled as an infinitely repeated game, but one which is renegotiation-proof. Both models indicate that IEAs can do little to improve on the noncooperative outcome when the number of countries that share the resource is large. Copyright 1994 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-894, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:46:y:1994:i:0:p:878-94

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