Estimating strategic models of international treaty formation Articles uri icon



publication date

  • February 2016

start page

  • 1741

end page

  • 1778


  • 4


  • 83

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0034-6527

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-937X


  • This article develops an empirical framework for analysing the timing of international treaties. Atreaty 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-membersaccelerate 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 across section of treaty ratification dates.With this approach, I estimate the sign and magnitude of strategicinteraction in the ratification of the Montreal Protocol, in the formation of Europe's preferential tradeagreements, and in the growth of Germany's network of bilateral investment treaties. Through a seriesof counterfactual experiments, I explore different mechanisms that give rise to strategic interaction in theformation of these treaties.


  • Economics


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