International Environmental Agreements

Posted: 12 Oct 2015

See all articles by Aart de Zeeuw

Aart de Zeeuw

Tilburg University - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2015


The regulation of environmental externalities at the global level requires international agreements between sovereign states. Game theory provides an appropriate theoretical tool for analysis. However, game theory can result in a wide range of outcomes, and therefore it is important to discuss the assumptions and mechanisms of the different approaches and to relate these with what is observed in practice. The basic picture is not optimistic: If there are large gains of cooperation, the stable coalition is small. This grim picture challenges the perspective and design of international agreements. This article discusses and compares the different approaches: noncooperative, cooperative, dynamic, and evolutionary. Asymmetries and the options for side payments are considered. At the end, some more optimistic ways forward are presented.

Suggested Citation

de Zeeuw, Aart J., International Environmental Agreements (October 2015). Annual Review of Resource Economics, Vol. 7, Issue 1, pp. 151-168, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

Aart J. De Zeeuw (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
+31 13 466 2065 (Phone)
+31-13-466-3042 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics