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Waste of Effort? International Environmental Agreements

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  • Derek Kellenberg
  • Arik Levinson

Abstract

Most evidence suggests that the 1,000 or so different International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) operating today are ineffectual, merely ratifying business-as-usual outcomes. But much of that empirical analysis faces two obstacles: (1) limited data from before the IEAs were enacted and thus an inability to make before-and-after comparisons and (2) difficulty estimating the counterfactual outcomes--what would have happened absent the agreements. We study one particular IEA--the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. In this special case we do have data prior to the agreement, enabling us to identify the treaty's effects using annual bilateral waste shipments among countries before and after one of the trading partners ratifies the agreement. Despite the strengths of this approach, we find almost no evidence that the Convention has resulted in less waste being shipped among countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Derek Kellenberg & Arik Levinson, 2014. "Waste of Effort? International Environmental Agreements," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 135-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/676037
    DOI: 10.1086/676037
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    Cited by:

    1. Núñez-Rocha, Thaís & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2019. "Are international environmental policies effective? The case of the Rotterdam and the Stockholm Conventions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 480-502.
    2. Esther Amouzou & Fabienne Boudier, 2016. "European trade in hazardous waste: has EU waste policy succeeded or failed?," Erudite Working Paper 2016-02, Erudite.
    3. Tanoos, James J, 2017. "East Asian Trade Cooperation versus US and EU Protectionist Trends and their Association to Chinese Steel Exports," Asian Journal of Economics and Empirical Research, Asian Online Journal Publishing Group, vol. 4(1), pages 1-7.
    4. Anghelache Constantin & Anghel Madalina-Gabriela, 2017. "Analysis Of The Environmental Impact Of Waste In Eu Member States," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 2, pages 5-11, December.
    5. Gary D. Libecap, 2014. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(2), pages 424-479, June.
    6. Thais Nuñez-Rocha, 2016. "Waste haven effect: unwrapping the impact of environmental regulation," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 16047, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    7. Mao, Liang, 2017. "Designing International Environmental Agreements under Participation Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 86248, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Thais NUNEZ-ROCHA & Inmaculada MARTíNEZ-ZARZOSO, 2018. "Is National Environmental Legislation Affecting Emissions?," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2505, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    9. Thais Nunez-Rocha & Camelia Turcu, 2019. "Trade in Fuels and Environmental Regulation: A Two-Sided Story," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 61(2), pages 302-343, June.
    10. Inmaculada MARTíNEZ-ZARZOSO & Thais NUNEZ-ROCHA, 2020. "Are National Environmental Laws Good for the Environment?," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2734, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    11. Sun, Meng, 2019. "The effect of border controls on waste imports: Evidence from China's Green Fence campaign," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 457-472.
    12. Millimet, Daniel L. & Roy, Jayjit, 2015. "Multilateral environmental agreements and the WTO," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 20-23.
    13. Mao, Liang, 2017. "Designing International Environmental Agreements under Participation Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 79145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:256-273 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Aleksandra Falkowska, 2020. "The impact of environmental policy on location patterns in the waste management industry," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 37(1), pages 167-195, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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