News: Besedes Publishes Research on Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Tibor Besedes

Posted January 29, 2020

The International Tax and Public Finance journal has accepted for publication a new paper by Tibor Besedes, an associate professor in the School of Economics, which examines the economic determinants of multilateral environmental agreements. The paper was co-authored with Erik P. Johnson, a former faculty member in SOE, and Xinping Tian, a Ph.D. alumnus of SOE.   

The main thrust of the paper is to understand the economic factors that have a strong impact on environmental agreements. A common concern with many environmental arrangements is that they usually result in more regulation and new limits on economic activity, which leads to economic losses. Yet, it is not clear under what conditions economic factors play a role in countries’ decisions to sign an environmental agreement and this is what the authors set out to do.

They conclude that economic factors play a role in determining whether a pair of countries sign a small agreement. In these cases, economic factors matter as limited-party agreements have a bite: they usually come with binding commitments that often manifest themselves in costs. On the other hand, when it comes to agreements with many signatories, economic factors play a minor role at best because such agreements entail no costs making it easier for countries to join. The lack of costs associated with the agreement implies that there are few economic considerations countries have to worry about when joining such agreements. 

The full publication can be accessed here

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S. Dante Christmas 

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