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Conditionality, Separation, and Open Rules in Multilateral Institutions

  • Paola Conconi
  • Carlo Perroni

We examine the implications for the viability of multilateral cooperation of different legal principles governing how separate international agreements relate to each other. We contrast three alternative rules: conditionality - making cooperation in one area a condition for cooperation in another; separation - forbidding sanctions in one area to be used to enforce cooperation in others; and open rules, i.e. the absence of any restriction on the patterns of cross-issue cooperation arrangements and sanctions. As an example, we focus on trade and environmental agreements. Our analysis suggests that conditionality is more likely to facilitate multilateral, multi-issue cooperation in situations where the environmental policy stakes are small relative to the welfare effects of trade policies; when the costs of environmental compliance are high, a conditionality rule can hinder multilateral cooperation. Separation can undermine cooperation by limiting punishment, but can also promote broad cooperation by making partial cooperation more difficult to sustain.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/5843.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/5843
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  1. John H. Jackson, 1997. "The World Trading System, 2nd Edition: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262600277.
  2. Abrego, Lisandro, et al, 2001. "Trade and Environment: Bargaining Outcomes from Linked Negotiations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 414-28, August.
  3. Conconi, P. & Perroni, C., 2000. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in Multilateral Negotiations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 558, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 1994. "The New Regionalism: Trade Liberalization or Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 4626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brian R. Copeland, 1990. "Strategic Interaction among Nations: Negotiable and Non-negotiable Trade Barriers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 84-108, February.
  6. Sebenius, James K., 1983. "Negotiation arithmetic: adding and subtracting issues and parties," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(02), pages 281-316, March.
  7. Henk Folmer & Pierre Mouche & Shannon Ragland, 1993. "Interconnected games and international environmental problems," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(4), pages 313-335, August.
  8. Chander, Parkash & Tulkens, Henry, 1992. "Theoretical foundations of negotiations and cost sharing in transfrontier pollution problems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 388-399, April.
  9. Riezman, Raymond, 1985. "Customs unions and the core," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 355-365, November.
  10. Carraro, Carlo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 1991. "Strategies for the International Protection of the Environment," CEPR Discussion Papers 568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
  12. Sang-Seung, Yi, 1996. "Endogenous formation of customs unions under imperfect competition: open regionalism is good," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 153-177, August.
  13. Barrett, Scott, 1994. "Self-Enforcing International Environmental Agreements," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 878-94, Supplemen.
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