The book investigates various strategies to provide countries with an incentive to accede, agree and comply to an international environmental agreement (IEA). Finus shows that by integrating real world restrictions into a model, game theory is a powerful tool for explaining the divergence between ‘first-best’ policy recommendations and ‘second-best’ designs of actual IEAs. For instance he explains why (inefficient) uniform emission reduction quotas have played such a prominent role in past IEAs despite economists’ recommendations for the use of (efficient) market-based instruments as for example emission targets and permits. Moreover, it is stated, that a single, global IEA on climate is not necessarily the best strategy and small coalitions may enjoy a higher stability and may achieve more.
Michael Finus and Alejandro Caparrós
Key environmental issues, such as biodiversity and climate change, have in recent years become more pressing than ever. Where the critical papers in the early 1990s explained the difficulties of cooperation in tackling transboundary environmental problems, later works have analyzed the various alternatives, and increased our understanding of various institutional designs and negotiation protocols' impact on the success of cooperation. This research review identifies the most important articles on the game theoretic analysis of international environmental cooperation to both confront the cooperative and non-cooperative approaches to this, and demonstrate the diversity of methods used to analyze international environmental agreements.