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Abstract

The combination of a general greening of international political debate, and the events of 1992 at the Rio Earth summit have led to great interest in the question of global environmental protection. While it is recognized that international environmental agreements (IEAs) are the means by which the earth's fragile environment is most likely to be protected, this recognition has been recent. Hence, there is very little formal research on the design and study of IEAs. As such, in this paper, I propose and describe a research agenda for the design and study of IEAs. Very generally, I propose that we frame the IEA design question as a problem in mechanism design. We will then be able to use, inter alia, the theory of common agency and the theory of hierarchies to generate interesting new theoretical and practical insights into the workings of IEAs. Note: Forthcoming in Ecological Economics

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