Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 19 > Issue 2

International Cooperation, Information Transmission, and Delegation

Emiel Awad, Department of Politics, Princeton University, USA, emielawad@gmail.com , Nicolás Riquelme, School of Business and Economics, Universidad de los Andes, Chile, nriquelme@uandes.cl
Suggested Citation
Emiel Awad and Nicolás Riquelme (2024), "International Cooperation, Information Transmission, and Delegation", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 19: No. 2, pp 217-242. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00022031

Publication Date: 10 Apr 2024
© 2024 E. Awad and N. Riquelme
Economic theory,  Uncertainty,  Collective action,  Formal modelling,  Intergovernmental relations,  International political economy
International relationsinternational organizationsgame theory


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In this article:
Related Literature 
The Model 
Endogenous Delegation 
Discussion and Conclusion 


Do international organizations (IOs) help states to solve coordination problems over policy choices? We analyze a formal model of coordinated adaptation in which states use costly signals to transmit information about their preferences. We show that states only delegate to IOs if states are sufficiently aligned and face little uncertainty about each other’s preferences. Although states gain from delegation by achieving more policy coordination, they also incur more costs because of inefficient signaling. States misrepresent their preferences to ensure that policies are coordinated on their own preferred outcome, and delegation to IOs makes states want to misrepresent their preferences more strongly. This effect can be so strong that the gains from international coordination are insufficient to warrant delegation to IOs. We discuss the robustness of our results to different types of IOs and provide implications for the design of institutions.