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Size Inequality, Coordination Externalities and International Trade Agreements

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  • Kamal Saggi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Nuno Limao

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, NBER and CEPR)

Abstract

Developing countries now account for a significant fraction of both world trade and two thirds of the membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, many are still individually small and thus have a limited ability to bilaterally extract and enforce trade concessions from larger developed economies even though as a group they would be able to do so. We show that this coordination externality generates asymmetric outcomes under agreements that rely on bilateral threats of trade retaliation---such as the WTO---but not under agreements extended to include certain financial instruments. In particular, we find that an extended agreement generates improvements in global efficiency and equity if it includes the exchange of bonds prior to trading but not if it relies solely on ex-post fines. Moreover, a combination of bonds and fines generates similar improvements even if small countries are subject to financial constraints that prevent them from posting bonds.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu11-w15.pdf
File Function: First version, September 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1115.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:1115

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

Related research

Keywords: Developing countries; WTO; Trade; Tariffs; Reciprocity; Policy Coordination; Bonds; Transfers;

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References

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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "What do trade negotiators negotiate about? Empirical evidence from the World Trade Organization," Discussion Papers 0607-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Ludema, Rodney D. & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2009. "Do countries free ride on MFN?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 137-150, April.
  4. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  5. Ludema, Rodney D., 2001. "Optimal international trade agreements and dispute settlement procedures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 355-376, June.
  6. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 1-93, Tel Aviv.
  8. Tibor Besedes & Thomas J. Prusa, 2007. "The Role of Extensive and Intensive Margins and Export Growth," NBER Working Papers 13628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Beshkar, Mostafa, 2010. "Optimal remedies in international trade agreements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 455-466, April.
  10. Saggi, Kamal & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2010. "Bilateralism, multilateralism, and the quest for global free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 26-37, May.
  11. Bagwell, Kyle & Mavroidis, Petros C. & Staiger, Robert W., 2007. "Auctioning countermeasures in the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 309-332, November.
  12. Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2000. "International trade agreements between countries of asymmetric size," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 473-495, April.
  13. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  14. Limao, Nuno & Saggi, Kamal, 2006. "Tariff retaliation versus financial compensation in the enforcement of international trade agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3873, The World Bank.
  15. Schott Jeffrey J, 2009. "America, Europe, and the New Trade Order," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-24, November.
  16. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
  17. Marco Bronckers & Naboth van den Broek, 2005. "Financial Compensation in the WTO," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 101-126, March.
  18. Kamal Saggi, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements And Multilateral Tariff Cooperation ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 29-57, 02.
  19. Mercurio, Bryan, 2009. "Why compensation cannot replace trade retaliation in the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 315-338, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2011. "Coordination Failures in Immigration Policy," Working Papers LuissLab 1190, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  2. Paolo E. Giordani & Nadia Rocha & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Food Prices and the Multiplier Effect of Export Policy," Working Papers LuissLab 1297, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.

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