The Political Economy of International Regulatory Cooperation

- By Maggi, Giovanni ; Ossa, Ralph


We examine international regulatory agreements that are negotiated under lobbying pressures from producer groups. The way in which lobbying influences the cooperative setting of regulatory policies, as well as the welfare impacts of international agreements, depend cru-cially on whether the interests of producers in different countries are aligned or in conflict. The former situation tends to occur for prod-uct standards, while the latter tends to occur for process standards. We find that, if producer lobbies are strong enough, agreements on product standards lead to excessive deregulation and decrease wel-fare, while agreements on process standards tighten regulations and enhance welfare. (JEL F13, F14, F15, L15, L51)