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Emerging trends in WTO dispute settlement : back to the GATT?

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  • Holmes, Peter
  • Rollo, Jim
  • Young, Alasdair R.

Abstract

As the number of cases in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system has increased, there has been a greater effort by the academic community to analyze the data for emerging trends. Holmes Rollo, and Young seek to develop this literature using data up to the end of 2002 to ask whether recent trends confirm previously identified patterns and to examine whether there are divergences from the overall pattern according to the type of dispute. They focus on three questions in particular: What explains which countries are most involved in complaints under the dispute settlement understanding? Is there a discernible pattern to which countries win? Is there a difference to these patterns depending on the type of measure at the heart of the complaint? The authors find that: A country's trade share is a pretty robust indicator of its likelihood to be either a complainant or a respondent. The frequently remarked absence of the least developed countries from the dispute settlement system can be explained by their low volume of trade. There is not much, if any, evidence of a bias against developing countries either as complainants or respondents. Regulatory issues are fading as reasons for disputes and trade defense disputes are the rising issue. Complainants overwhelmingly win (88 percent of cases). There is no strong evidence that the rate of completion of cases is biased against newly industrializing countries or traditional less developed countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3133.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3133

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Keywords: Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Judicial System Reform; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Information Technology; Judicial System Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Information Technology; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Trade and Services;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Sources of Slow Growth in African Economies," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 335-76, October.
  3. Keohane, Robert O. & Moravcsik, Andrew & Slaughter, Anne-Marie, 2000. "Legalized Dispute Resolution: Interstate and Transnational," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 457-488, June.
  4. Alasdair R. Young, 2001. "Trading Up or Trading Blows? US Politics and Transatlantic Trade in Genetically Modified Food," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 30, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  5. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Fundamental," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 184-88, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Khan, Haider & Liu, Yibei, 2008. "Globalization and the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism: Making a Rules-based Trading Regime Work," MPRA Paper 7613, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
  2. Fritz Breuss, 2004. "WTO Dispute Settlement: An Economic Analysis of Four EU–US Mini Trade Wars—A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 275-315, December.
  3. Ziaul Abedin & Mohammad Ali Tareq, 2008. "Trends of Trade Disputes During the WTO Regime," AIUB Bus Econ Working Paper Series AIUB-BUS-ECON-2008-04, American International University-Bangladesh, Office of Research and Publications (ORP), revised Jan 2008.
  4. R A Read, 2005. "Trade dispute settlement mechanisms: the WTO dispute settlement understanding in the wake of the GATT," Working Papers 564824, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  5. World Bank, 2003. "Global Economic Prospects 2004 : Realizing the Development Promise of the Doha Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14782.
  6. Michiel Keyzer & Max Merbis & Roelf Voortman, 2008. "The Biofuel Controversy," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(4), pages 507-527, December.
  7. Goetz, Christian & Heckelei, Thomas & Rudloff, Bettina, 2008. "What makes countries initiate WTO disputes on food-related issues?," Discussion Papers 56974, University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics.
  8. Read, Robert, 2004. "Like Products, Health and Environmental Exceptions: The Interpretation of PPMs in Recent WTO Trade Dispute Cases," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 5(2).
  9. Bown, Chad P., 2005. "Trade remedies and World Trade Organization dispute settlement : Why are so few challenged?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3540, The World Bank.
  10. Fritz Breuss, 2004. "WTO Dispute Settlement: An Economic Analysis of four EU-US Mini Trade Wars," WIFO Working Papers 231, WIFO.

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