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

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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.

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  • Aakvik, Arild & Tjøtta, Sigve, 2007. "Do Collective Actions Clear Common Air? The Effect of International Environmental Protocols on Sulphur Emissions," Working Papers in Economics 10/07, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2007_010
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    Cited by:

    1. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2013. "Estimating the Effects of Kyoto on Bilateral Trade Flows Using Matching Econometrics," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 303-330, March.
    2. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2011. "What a Difference Kyoto Made: Evidence from Instrumental Variables Estimation," ifo Working Paper Series 102, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2015. "Kyoto and Carbon Leakage: An Empirical Analysis of the Carbon Content of Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 104-115, March.
    4. Jürg Vollenweider, 2013. "The effectiveness of international environmental agreements," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 343-367, September.
    5. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2013. "The Effect of the Kyoto Protocol on Carbon Emissions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 731-757, September.
    6. Aurélie Slechten & Vincenzo Verardi, 2016. "Measuring the Impact of Multiple Air Pollution Agreements on Global CO2 Emissions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 92(3), pages 534-554.
    7. Yoomi Kim & Katsuya Tanaka & Shunji Matsuoka, 2017. "Institutional Mechanisms and the Consequences of International Environmental Agreements," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 17(1), pages 77-98, February.
    8. Aichele, Rahel & Felbermayr, Gabriel, 2012. "Kyoto and the carbon footprint of nations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 336-354.
    9. Tobias Böhmelt & Jürg Vollenweider, 2015. "Information flows and social capital through linkages: the effectiveness of the CLRTAP network," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 105-123, May.
    10. Rahel Aichele, 2013. "Trade, Climate Policy and Carbon Leakage - Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 49, March.
    11. Aurelie Slechten & Vincenzo Verardi, 2014. "Assessing the effectiveness of global air-pollution treaties on CO2 emissions," Working Papers 64981625, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International agreements; programme evaluation; placebo; serial correlation;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H49 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Other
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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