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Does ratification matter and do major conventions improve safety and decrease pollution in shipping?

Sabine Knapp and Philip Hans Franses

No EI 2009-03, Econometric Institute Research Papers from Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute

Abstract: We develop a method which measures the effect of the major international conventions in the area of safety, pollution, search and rescue and work related measures. We further distinguish between the effect of entry into force and the status of ratification of a convention by its parties. We use standard econometric models and base our analysis on a unique dataset of 30 years of monthly data where we correct for other factors which can influence safety such as safety inspections and ship economic cycles. The results show a complex picture where the average time between adoption and entry into force was calculated to be 3.1 years. Overall, the more parties ratify a convention, the more likely safety is improved and pollution is decreased although one can detect a certain level of non compliance. The immediate effect of entry into force presents a mixed picture where most negative effects can be found with legislation in the area of safety management and pollution, followed by technical areas. The effect of legislation in the areas related to working and living conditions and certification and training is smallest. Seasonality can be found with peaks in December and January for all conventions but are less important for pollution.

Date: 2009-02-17
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