Why are there so Few Basin-wide Treaties?

Ariel Dinar | Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy, University of California Riverside

Monday, February 11, 2019 12:15 PM to 1:30 PM


Examinations of international water treaties suggest that riparian states are not heeding the advice for Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). Theories suggest that the larger the number of negotiating states, the lower the cost of the joint operation of treaties, but the transaction cost of negotiating and maintaining large-N treaties increases. We model the trade-off between benefits and costs associated with the number of treaty signatories and apply it to a global International-water treaty dataset. Findings confirm that the transaction cost of negotiation and the economies of scale of benefits are important in determining the paucity of basin-wide agreements, the treaty contents, and its extent.