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The Kyoto protocol: Empirical evidence of a hidden success

Nada Maamoun

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2019, vol. 95, issue C, 227-256

Abstract: How effective was the Kyoto protocol? International Environmental Agreements (IEA) have been on the rise over the past four decades; however, thus far their effectiveness is controversial. In view of the conflicting results found in the related literature, this paper addresses its effectiveness by utilizing for the first time the generalized synthetic control method (GSCM) to compare the emissions of the industrialized countries with a “No- Kyoto” counterfactual scenario that represents the expected emissions in the absence of the protocol. This method facilitates a robust comparison between treated and control countries as done by Almer and Winkler (2017) and account for the multiple treated units as done by Grunewald and Martinez-Zarzoso (2016), so as to capture the collective nature of the protocol. Results show that the protocol was successful in reducing the emissions of the ratifying countries approximately by 7% below the emissions expected under a “No-Kyoto” scenario, confirming the importance of accounting for the collective nature of the agreement.

Keywords: Treatment effects; Kyoto protocol; International public goods; Air pollution; Global warming; Generalized synthetic controls (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C2 F53 H87 Q53 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is currently edited by M.A. Cole, A. Lange, D.J. Phaneuf, D. Popp, M.J. Roberts, M.D. Smith, C. Timmins, Q. Weninger and A.J. Yates

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