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The MFN clause, welfare, and multilateral cooperation between countries of unequal size

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  • Saggi, Kamal

Abstract

This paper analyzes MFN in a "competing exporters" model of trade between three countries with unequal endowments and shows that MFN yields higher aggregate welfare than tariff discrimination even as it makes low income countries worse off. Furthermore, in a repeated game of tariff cooperation, multilateral free trade is easier to sustain under MFN punishments relative to discriminatory ones. This conclusion holds even when tariff discrimination takes the form of bilateral trade agreements. Overall, the analysis shows that from the viewpoint of low income countries, MFN and multilateral tariff cooperation are complementary in nature.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 132-143

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:132-143

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Most favored nation clause Country income Welfare Multilateral tariff cooperation Tariff discrimination;

References

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  1. Riezman, Raymond, 1991. "Dynamic tariffs with asymmetric information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 267-283, May.
  2. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2004. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT/WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-29, May.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation During the Formation of Free Trade Areas," Discussion Papers 1048, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C, 2001. "Economic and Legal Aspects of the Most Favoured Nation Clause," CEPR Discussion Papers 2859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "International Rules and Institutions for Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 4962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  7. Rodney D. Ludema, 1991. "International Trade Bargaining And The Most-Favored-Nation Clause," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, 03.
  8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
  10. Ederington, Josh & McCalman, Phillip, 2003. "Discriminatory tariffs and international negotiations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 397-424, December.
  11. McCalman, Phillip, 2002. "Multi-lateral trade negotiations and the Most Favored Nation clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 151-176, June.
  12. Chad Bown, 2004. "Trade policy under the GATT-WTO: empirical evidence of the equal treatment rule," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 678-720, August.
  13. Saggi, Kamal, 2004. "Tariffs and the most favored nation clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 341-368, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodney D. Ludema & Anna Maria Mayda, 2010. "Do Terms-of-Trade Effects Matter for Trade Agreements? Evidence from WTO Countries," Development Working Papers 293, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2008. "The most-favored nation rule in club enlargement negotiation," Working Papers 0815, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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