Public Choice

, Volume 159, Issue 1–2, pp 141–158 | Cite as

Exploring the nature of inter-country interactions in the process of ratifying international environmental agreements: the case of the Kyoto Protocol

  • Alexandre SauquetEmail author


International environmental agreements require negotiation and cooperation among countries. This paper attempts to analyze the presence and nature of inter-country interactions in the process of ratifying such agreements. We develop a theoretical argument based on the notions of strategic substitutability and strategic complementarity and study the interactions among three different peer types: geographic neighbors, trading partners and green investment projects partners (in our case, clean development mechanism projects partners). We test for the presence of interactions by taking into account a temporal dimension, which constitutes a methodological contribution. To this end, we introduce spatially lagged endogenous variables into a parametric survival model and apply the proposed framework to the Kyoto Protocol ratification process. Our data sample covers 164 countries for the period 1998 to 2009. We find evidence that, while countries’ ratification decisions are basically strategic substitutes, they become strategic complements once we focus on the ratification decisions of specific peers.


International environmental agreements Kyoto protocol Ratification Strategic substitutes/complements Spatial survival model 

JEL Classification

C41 F53 H41 Q53 Q56 



We are indebted to two anonymous referees and to the Editor in Chief of this journal William F. Shughart II, for their numerous and valuable comments. We would also like to thank Céline Agoutin, Simone Bertoli, Pascale Combes-Motel, Nelly Exbrayat, Shannon Harvey, Franck Lecocq, Peter Reed, Matthias Rieger, Grégoire Rota-Graziosi, and the participants of the 2011 Economic Development PhD seminar held in Orleans (France) for their useful comments and inputs. All remaining errors are our own. We would also like to thank the “Conseil Regional d’Auvergne” for providing financial support.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International (CERDI), CNRS, UMR 6587Clermont Université, Université d’AuvergneClermont FerrandFrance

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