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Journal article
Estimating strategic models of international treaty formation
Ulrich J. Wagner
October 2016
Paper No' :

Tags: bilateral investment treaty; dynamic game; international environmental agreement; international relations; preferential trade agreement; strategic interaction; structural estimation

This article develops an empirical framework for analysing the timing of international treaties. A treaty is modelled as a dynamic game among governments that decide on participation in every period. The net benefit of treaty membership increases over time. Spillovers among members and non-members accelerate or delay treaty formation by transforming participation into a strategic complement or substitute, respectively. The predictions of the model inform the estimation of the structural parameters, based on a cross section of treaty ratification dates. With this approach, I estimate the sign and magnitude of strategic interaction in the ratification of the Montreal Protocol, in the formation of Europe's preferential trade agreements, and in the growth of Germany's network of bilateral investment treaties. Through a series of counterfactual experiments, I explore different mechanisms that give rise to strategic interaction in the formation of these treaties. © The Author 2016.