Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Economics Research Institute Study Paper




Utah State University Department of Economics

Publication Date



Copyright for this work is held by the author. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information contact the Institutional Repository Librarian at

First Page


Last Page



In the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, developing countries (DCs) were adamant that, in order to protect the environment for the future, new institutions were needed which would channel resources from the wealthy developed countries to the poor DCs. With this backdrop, I analyze the problem faced by an asymmetrically informed supranational governmental authority (SNGA) who wishes to design an International Environmental Agreement (IEA). The SNGA cannot contract directly with polluting firms in the various DCs; instead, he must deal with such firms through their governments. I study this tripartite hierarchical interaction and focus on the properties of the optimal ex ante and ex post IEAs, which can be implemented by the SNGA in two different scenarios. My analysis suggests that IEAs are not inherently doomed due to a basic monitoring and enforcement problem stemming from national sovereignty. Further, desirable levels of pollution abatement can result in a number of contractual settings.