Political Risk and Investment Arbitration: An Empirical Study
Journal of International Dispute Settlement, 2016, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2015 Last revised: 31 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2015
Investment arbitrations should not happen too often, because they are costly processes for both parties. Yet they regularly happen. Why? We investigate the hypothesis that investment arbitrations are used as a means of last resort, after dissuasion has failed, and that dissuasion is most likely to fail in situations were significant political risk materializes. Investment arbitration should thus tend to target countries in which certain types of political risk has materialized. In order to test this hypothesis, we focus in this paper on two drivers of political risk: bad governance, and economic crises. We test various links between those two drivers of risk and arbitration claims. We use an original dataset that includes investment claims filed under the rules of all arbitration institutions as well as ad hoc arbitrations. We find that bad governance, understood as corruption and lack of rule of law (using the WGI Corruption and WGI Rule of Law indexes), has a statistically significant relation with investment arbitration claims, but economic crises do not.
Keywords: foreign investment, arbitration, political risk, bad governance, economic hardship
JEL Classification: E22, E62, G31, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation