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Tracing the Effects of WTO Accession on Policy-making in Sovereign States: Preliminary Lessons from the Recent Experience of Transition Countries

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  • Zdenek Drabek
  • Marc Bacchetta
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    Abstract

    We examine in this paper the effects of WTO Accession on policy-making and institutional reforms in transition countries. This is done by looking at the experience of those transition countries which are already Members of the WTO and/or which have recently acceded. We start by trying to distinguish between effects of accession negotiations and from those which are the results of autonomous policy initiatives. The areas of domestic policy-making which are considered in the analysis include market access, governance, government budget, structural reforms, trade and investment arrangements with regional partners and macroeconomic management. We find that no precise blueprint of accession conditions can be ascertained and argue that the WTO played a role, albeit not an exclusive one, in the process of liberalisation. We also find that the costs of WTO Accession are not negligible, but that the benefits of WTO Membership are significant in terms of improved, more predictable, market access and its stability, improved governance and a recourse to better economic policies without significant loss to government revenues. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 7 (07)
    Pages: 1083-1125

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:7:p:1083-1125

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    Cited by:
    1. Ansgar Belke & Ingo Bordon & Inna Melnykovska & Rainer Schweickert, 2009. "Prospective Membership and Institutional Change in Transition Countries," Kiel Working Papers 1562, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    2. Kent Jones & Yunwei Gai, 2013. "Joining the WTO: Why Does It Take So Long?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 695-716, September.
    3. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-77, June.
    4. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2006. "Distortions to World Trade: Impacts on Agricultural Markets and Farm Incomes," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 168-194.
    5. Man-Keung Tang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "The Value of Making Commitments Externally: Evidence from WTO Accessions," NBER Working Papers 14582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kaminski, Bartlomiej, 2006. "Bulgaria's institutions and policies : integrating into Pan-European markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3864, The World Bank.
    7. Thorsten Drautzburg & Inna Melnykovska & Rainer Schweickert, 2008. "Which Membership Matters? External vs. Internal Determinants of Institutional Change in Transition Countries," Kiel Working Papers 1421, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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