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Does the WTO Help Member States Clean Up?

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Author Info

  • Susan Ariel Aaronson

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • M. Rodwan Abouharb

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

Corruption (the abuse of entrusted authority for illicit gain) is pervasive, hard to measure, and damaging both to economic growth and human rights. Corruption is also intimately associated with trade. However, the international organization governing trade, the WTO, says nothing about corruption. This paper uses qualitative and quantitative analysis to examine whether the GATT/WTO, without deliberate intent, helps nations improve governance. Under GATT/WTO rules, policymakers are obligated to act in an evenhanded and predictable manner, to facilitate transparent trade-related policymaking and to provide due process to such policymaking by allowing individuals to comment on and challenge trade related regulations before they are adopted. Even-handedness, access to information, and due process are anticorruption counterweights. Hence we hypothesized that we would see both qualitative and quantitative evidence of improvement in these government metrics among developing country WTO members.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2011-13.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2011-13

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Web page: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/
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Related research

Keywords: Corruption; WTO; Governance; Anticorruption;

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References

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  1. Rolf J. Langhammer & Matthias Lücke, 1999. "WTO Accession Issues," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(6), pages 837-873, 08.
  2. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
  3. Goldstein, Judith & Martin, Lisa L., 2000. "Legalization, Trade Liberalization, and Domestic Politics: A Cautionary Note," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 603-632, June.
  4. World Bank & International Monetary Fund, 2006. "Global Monitoring Report 2006 : Millennium Development Goals - Strengthening Mutual Accountability, Aid, Trade, and Governance," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6970, October.
  5. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  6. Sudip Ranjan Basu, 2008. "Does WTO accession affect domestic economic policies and institutions?," IHEID Working Papers 03-2008, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Feb 2008.
  7. Mansfield, Edward D. & Milner, Helen V. & Rosendorff, B. Peter, 2002. "Why Democracies Cooperate More: Electoral Control and International Trade Agreements," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 477-513, June.
  8. Elkins, Zachary & Guzman, Andrew T. & Simmons, Beth A., 2006. "Competing for Capital: The Diffusion of Bilateral Investment Treaties, 1960 2000," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 811-846, October.
  9. Keohane, Robert O, 2002. "Rational Choice Theory and International Law: Insights and Limitations," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages S307-19, January.
  10. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M., 2005. "Trading Human Rights: How Preferential Trade Agreements Influence Government Repression," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 593-629, July.
  11. Irène Hors, 2001. "Fighting Corruption in Customs Administration: What Can we Learn from Recent Experiences?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 175, OECD Publishing.
  12. Keohane, Robert O. & Macedo, Stephen & Moravcsik, Andrew, 2009. "Democracy-Enhancing Multilateralism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(01), pages 1-31, January.
  13. Aaronson, Susan Ariel, 2007. "Seeping in slowly: how human rights concerns are penetrating the WTO," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 413-449, November.
  14. Goldstein, Judith L. & Rivers, Douglas & Tomz, Michael, 2007. "Institutions in International Relations: Understanding the Effects of the GATT and the WTO on World Trade," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(01), pages 37-67, January.
  15. Susan Ariel Aaronson & M. Rodwan Abouharb, 2010. "Unexpected Bedfellows: The GATT, the WTO, and Some Democratic Rights," Working Papers 2010-12, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
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