Economic Determinants of Multilateral Environmental Agreements

By Tibor Besedeš (Georgia Institute of Technology), Erik P. Johnson (Carthage College), and Xinping Tian (Hunan University)

Multilateral environmental agreements come in many flavors. Between 1950 and 2012 over 1100 such agreements have been negotiated between countries.… read more ...

Weather Shocks, Natural Disasters, and Economic Outcomes

The ‘new weather-economy literature’ applies panel methods to examine how weather-related events such as temperature, precipitation and windstorms affect economic outcomes such as output, labor productivity and conflict.  By capturing exogenous variation in weather related events over time within a given spatial unit, the literature helps inform classic issues of economic development and especially the role of geographic features in influencing development paths.  This in turn contributes to the debate over the competing explanations of institutions and geography in explaining economic development.  Overall, this literature establishes that temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events exert economically meaningful and statistically significant influences on a variety of economic outcomes.  A key finding is that panel estimates tend to predict economically and statistically significant negative impacts of hotter temperatures on per-capita income but only for poor countries.… read more ...

Natural Resources and Political Stability

There is increasing interest in how natural resources influence political stability. Under a dictatorial regime, political stability is determined by the ability of a ruling group to stay in power. If political power is the route to personal riches by the appropriation of natural resource income, remaining in power is that much more attractive.… read more ...

Renewable Resources

Greater use of renewable energy is considered a key component to fight climate change and is now a policy priority for the governments of developed countries in particular.  The new agenda on renewable energy is also of interest to developing countries since they are more likely to experience the adverse consequences of climate change.… read more ...

International Trade and Conflict

The availability of natural resources can directly affect the prospects of growth of a nation and their geographic distribution is uneven across and within countries. On one hand this can create opportunities for international trade between resource scarce and resource rich countries or, at the national level, generate revenues to be invested in development projects.… read more ...