Quantitative analysis of environmental regime effects can complement qualitative analyses by allowing investigation of variation in the effects of different regimes as well as the causes and conditions that explain that variation. Such analysis involves developing metrics that allow comparison of the influence of disparate regimes, models that distinguish regime influence from other explanatory factors, and data sets of independent and dependent variables of sufficient quality to support quantitative analysis. The many theoretical, methodological, and empirical obstacles to undertaking quantitative research on regime effectiveness are daunting but surmountable. By using data regarding component parts of regimes (“subregimes”) broken down to the country and year level, quantitative techniques offer promise in identifying which regimes induce greater behavioral change and greater “effort” and, more importantly, what characteristics of those regimes and the context in which they operate explain their greater success.
A revised version of this article will appear in Arild Underdal and Oran Young, Regime Consequences: Methodological Challenges and Research Strategies, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. This article has benefited greatly from comments from Arild Underdal, Oran Young, Detlef Sprinz, and participants in a conference on “Regime Consequences: Methodological Challenges and Research Strategies” hosted by the Centre for Advanced Study of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in June 2000. This article was completed with the generous support of a Summer Research Award from the University of Oregon