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Forbearance in Optimal Multilateral Trade Agreements

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  • Bowen, Renee

    (Stanford University)

Abstract

I present a theory of optimal multilateral trade agreements with public political shocks. I first show that "forbearance"-- where one country withholds retaliation when its trading partner receives a shock-- is a feature of an optimal agreement. This provides a rationale for countries not acting on retaliatory rights granted under GATT. Second I show that there is a limit to forbearance allowable in a self-enforcing agreement. This limit is increasing in the number of countries in the agreement, increasing in the common discount factor, and increasing in the size of the export sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2085.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2085

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  1. Rosendorff, B. Peter & Milner, Helen V., 2001. "The Optimal Design of International Trade Institutions: Uncertainty and Escape," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 829-857, September.
  2. Richard Chisik & Harun Onder, 2010. "Limiting Cross-Retaliation when Punishment is Limited: How DSU Article 22.3 Complements GATT Article XXVIII," Working Papers 025, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
  3. Beshkar, Mostafa, 2010. "Optimal remedies in international trade agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 455-466, April.
  4. Kennan, John & Riezman, Raymond, 1988. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 81-85, February.
  5. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 707-27, July.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
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