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When does cooperation win and why? Political cycles and participation in international environmental agreements

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  • Alexandre SAUQUET

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  • Antoine CAZALS

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Abstract

Is there a strategically beneficial time for political leaders to make international environmental commitments? Based on the political cycles theory we argue that leaders have incentives to delay costly ratification of international environmental agreements to the post-electoral period. However, the cost of participating in these agreements are often lower for developing countries, and they may benefit from indirect gains, which may make them more prone to ratifying in the pre-electoral period. These hypotheses are empirically assessed by studying the ratification process of 48 global environmental agreements censused in the ENTRI database from 1976 to 1999. We use a duration model in which time is measured on a daily basis, enabling us to precisely identify pre- and post-electoral periods -- a significant challenge in political cycles studies. Our investigation reveals the existence of political ratification cycles that are of substantial magnitude and non-linear over the pre- and post-electoral years.

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  • Alexandre SAUQUET & Antoine CAZALS, 2013. "When does cooperation win and why? Political cycles and participation in international environmental agreements," Working Papers 201320, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1464
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    Keywords

    International Environmental Agreements; Political cycles; Ratification; Duration model;

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