Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 395–406 | Cite as

Can a Focus on Breakthrough Technologies Improve the Performance of International Environmental Agreements?

  • Michael Hoel
  • Aart de Zeeuw
Open Access


In a recent paper, Barrett (Am Econ Rev 96(2):22–25, 2006) reaches the conclusion that in general the answer to the question in the title is no, except for a special case in which technology adoption involves increasing returns (network externalities). We show in this paper that a focus on the R&D phase in the development of breakthrough technologies can also increase the possibilities for cooperation.


International environmental agreements Breakthrough technology 

JEL Classification

Q28 C72 F42 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Economics and TSCTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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