IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Do Collective Actions Clear Common Air? The Effect of International Environmental Protocols on Sulphur Emissions

We consider the effects of voluntary international environmental protocols on emissions with regard to the 1985 Helsinki Protocol and the 1994 Oslo Protocol on the reduction of sulphur oxides. Our analysis utilizes panel data from 30 European countries for the period 1960–2002. We divide these countries into “participants” and “non-participants”, i.e., those that did and those that did not ratify the specific protocol. We use a difference-in-difference estimator that focuses on the difference in emissions before and after signing a specific protocol and compares it with this difference for non-participant countries. Difference-in-difference estimation methods rely on annual data and may induce serial correlations in the variables. We use randomly generated placebo protocols to test the estimated effects. In a panel data regression model, where we include country and year dummies, the effect of the Helsinki agreement in reducing sulphur emissions is around three per cent per year, and the effect of the Oslo agreement is around four per cent per year. Correcting the standard errors for serial correlation in both dependent and independent variables is important and overlooked in the previous empirical literature on the evaluation of international agreements.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Bergen, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 10/07.

in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 13 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2007_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway
Phone: (+47)55589200
Fax: (+47)55589210
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Matisoff, 2010. "Are international environmental agreements enforceable? implications for institutional design," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 165-186, September.
  3. Lange, Andreas & Vogt, Carsten, 2001. "Cooperation in international environmental negotiations due to a preference for equity," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-14, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Murdoch, James C. & Sandler, Todd, 1997. "The voluntary provision of a pure public good: The case of reduced CFC emissions and the Montreal Protocol," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 331-349, February.
  5. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  6. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
  7. Bratberg, Espen & Tjotta, Sigve & Oines, Torgeir, 2005. "Do voluntary international environmental agreements work?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 583-597, November.
  8. Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd & Sargent, Keith, 1997. "A Tale of Two Collectives: Sulphur versus Nitrogen Oxides Emission Reduction in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 281-301, May.
  9. Michael Hoel, 1992. "International environment conventions: The case of uniform reductions of emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 141-159, March.
  10. Helland Eric & Tabarrok Alexander, 2004. "Using Placebo Laws to Test "More Guns, Less Crime"," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-9, January.
  11. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1998. "International Institutions and Environmental Policy: International environmental agreements: Incentives and political economy1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 561-572, May.
  13. Lee, Myoung-jae & Kang, Changhui, 2006. "Identification for difference in differences with cross-section and panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 270-276, August.
  14. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
  15. Barrett, Scott, 2001. "International cooperation for sale," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1835-1850, December.
  16. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1993. "Strategies for the international protection of the environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 309-328, October.
  17. Arce M., Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2001. "Transnational public goods: strategies and institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 493-516, September.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521834773 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change
    [Understanding the Process of Economic Change]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521542548 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Lee, Myoung-jae, 2005. "Micro-Econometrics for Policy, Program and Treatment Effects," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199267699.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2007_010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kjell Erik Lommerud)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.