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Societal benefits and costs of International Investment Agreements: A critical review of aspects and available empirical evidence

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  • Joachim Pohl

Abstract

This paper reviews alleged societal benefits and costs of International Investment Agreements (IIAs) as suggested by academia, governments, business and civil society. It sets out the wide range of issues that diverse actors have proposed in the context of assessing the societal benefits and costs of IIAs. The paper analyses and organises the available material generated by these sources to identify and classify the many different issues, summarises available empirical evidence and findings in these sources on the individual aspects, and assesses strengths and weaknesses of the approaches. The paper focuses in particular on the investor protection component of IIAs. The inventory finds that for many claims about the positive or negative impact of IIAs, little robust evidence has been generated to date. The paper highlights methodological challenges and suggests areas where further study would be required to draw firmer conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim Pohl, 2018. "Societal benefits and costs of International Investment Agreements: A critical review of aspects and available empirical evidence," OECD Working Papers on International Investment 2018/1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafaaa:2018/1-en
    DOI: 10.1787/e5f85c3d-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bilateral investment treaties; cost-benefit analysis; foreign investment; international investment; international investment law; investment protection; investment treaties; regulatory impact assessments;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • F60 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - General
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • P45 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - International Linkages
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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