Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

International agreements on product standard: an incomplete contracting theory

Contents:

Author Info

  • Pierpaolo Battigalli
  • Giovanni Maggi

Abstract

We propose a theory of international agreements on product standards. The key feature of the model is that agreements are viewed as incomplete contracts. In particular, these do not specify standards for products that may arise in the future. One potential remedy to contractual incompleteness is a dispute settlement procedure (DSP) that provides arbitration in states of the world that are not covered by the ex ante agreement. We identify conditions under which a DSP can provide ex-ante efficiency gains, and examine how these gains depend on the fundamentals of the problem. Another potential remedy to contractual incompleteness is given by rigid rules, i.e. rules that are not product-specific. We argue that the nondiscrimination rule is the only rule of this kind that increases ex ante efficiency for any probability distribution over potential products. Finally we show that, under relatively weak conditions, the optimal ex-ante agreement is structured in three parts: (i) a set of clauses that specify standards for existing products; (ii) a rigid nondiscrimination rule, and (iii) a dispute settlement procedure. Although the model focuses on the case of product standards, the analysis suggests a more general incomplete-contracting theory of trade agreements.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9533.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9533.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9533

Note: ITI
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sebenius, James K., 1983. "Negotiation arithmetic: adding and subtracting issues and parties," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(02), pages 281-316, March.
  4. Daniel M. Sturm, 2001. "Product Standards, Trade Disputes and Protectionism," CEP Discussion Papers dp0486, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "International Trade and the Environment: A Framework for Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Crawford, Vincent P, 1979. "On Compulsory-Arbitration Schemes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 131-59, February.
  7. Eduardo M.R.A Engel, 2000. "Poisoned grapes, mad cows and protectionism," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 91-111.
  8. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  10. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  11. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
  12. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2005. "Bargaining and Markets," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000515, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen & Jack Robles, 2001. "Multi-Issue Bargaining and Linked Agendas: Ricardo Revisited or No Pain No Gain," NBER Working Papers 8347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Binmore, K. & Osborne, M.J. & Rubinstein, A., 1989. "Noncooperative Models Of Bargaining," Papers 89-26, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  15. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
  16. Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000. "Standards and protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
  17. Gandal, N. & Shy, O., 1996. "Standardization Policy and International Trade," Papers 12-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  18. Hungerford, Thomas L., 1991. "GATT: A cooperative equilibrium in a noncooperative trading regime?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 357-369, November.
  19. Krishna, V. & Morgan, J., 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Papers 206, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  20. Gibbons, Robert, 1988. "Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 896-912, December.
  21. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
  22. Dan Kovenock & Marie Thursby, 1992. "Gatt, Dispute Settlement And Cooperation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 151-170, 07.
  23. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
  24. Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S. & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "Saving two in a billion: : quantifying the trade effect of European food safety standards on African exports," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 495-514, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Costinot, Arnaud, 2008. "A comparative institutional analysis of agreements on product standards," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 197-213, May.
  2. Henrik Horn & Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "Trade Agreements as Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 12745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. JINJI Naoto, 2009. "An Economic Theory of the SPS Agreement," Discussion papers 09033, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  4. Henrik Horn, 2006. "National Treatment in the GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 394-404, March.
  5. Sergei Guriev & Mikhail Klimenko, 2010. "Duration and Term Structure of Trade Agreements," Working Papers w0150, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  6. INABA Masaru & NUTAHARA Kengo, 2009. "The Role of Investment Wedges in the Carlstrom-Fuerst Economy and Business Cycle Accounting," Discussion papers 09030, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  7. Robert W. Staiger & Alan O. Sykes, 2009. "International Trade and Domestic Regulation," NBER Working Papers 15541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2008. "On the Role and Design of Dispute Settlement Procedures in International Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 14067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9533. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.