The PhD thesis entitled “International cooperation for biodiversity conservation: an economic analysis” examines the functioning and effectiveness of different economic instruments for biodiversity conservation at diverse scales. Different methodological approaches such as market theory, contract theory, and game theory are implemented. The first part of the thesis consists of an assessment of the economic conditions under which markets for biodiversity are expected to function, and their potential to be scaled up to a global level. The remainder of the thesis present game theoretical analyses on the modelling and functioning of International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) for biodiversity conservation. Game theory provides a novel opportunity to study the impact of key features of biodiversity on the effectiveness and stability of conservation agreements. This type of analysis is then applied to a case study of habitat conservation for a migratory bird species in one of the chapters.