A Spatial Econometric Analysis of Compliance with an International Environmental Agreement on an Open Access Resource
This paper provides an empirical analysis of the role of intergovernmental relations on a country's effort to enforce the objectives of an international environmental agreement on an open access resource. Intergovernmental interaction allows signatory countries to observe compliance behavior of other signees and to punish non-compliance by applying bi- and multilateral sanctions. We use a cross-sectional dataset that contains country level information about compliance with Article 7 of the 1995 UN Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Our identification strategy combines a spatial autoregressive model with spatial autoregressive disturbances and an instrumental variable approach. We find a strong positive effect of other countries' compliance on the individual country's compliance score. These results suggest that repeated interactions among participants might not only play a role in enforcing the obligations of an agreement at the community level but also have an impact at the international level.
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