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Backward stealing and forward manipulation in the WTO

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  • Bagwell, Kyle
  • Staiger, Robert W.

Abstract

Motivated by the structure of WTO negotiations, we analyze a bargaining environment in which negotiations proceed bilaterally and sequentially under the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle. We identify backward-stealing and forward-manipulation problems that arise when governments bargain under the MFN principle in a sequential fashion. We show that these problems impede governments from achieving the multilateral efficiency frontier unless further rules of negotiation are imposed. We identify the WTO nullification-or-impairment and renegotiation provisions and its reciprocity norm as rules that are capable of providing solutions to these problems. In this way, we suggest that WTO rules can facilitate the negotiation of efficient multilateral trade agreements in a world in which the addition of new and economically significant countries to the world trading system is an ongoing process.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 82 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 49-62

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:1:p:49-62

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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Keywords: GATT WTO Trade negotiations;

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References

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  1. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  2. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limão, Nuno, 2005. "The Clash of Liberalizations: Preferential vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 4973, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rodney Ludema and Ann Maria Mayda, 2008. "Do Countries Free Ride on MFN?," Working Papers gueconwpa~08-08-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  5. Nuno Lim�o, 2007. "Are Preferential Trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Block for Multilateral Liberalization?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 821-855.
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  15. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  16. Lim“o, Nuno, 2002. "Are Preferential trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Block for Multilateral Liberalization?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 129, Royal Economic Society.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rodney Ludema and Ann Maria Mayda, 2008. "Do Countries Free Ride on MFN?," Working Papers gueconwpa~08-08-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Negotiating free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30, September.
  4. Chad Bown & Meredith Crowley, 2004. "China's export growth and U.S. trade policy," Working Paper Series WP-04-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. James Lake & Halis M. Yildiz, 2014. "On the different geographic characteristics of Free Trade Agreements and Customs Unions," Departmental Working Papers 1403, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  6. Nuno Limao, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 896-914, June.

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