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Trade preferences and differential treatment of developing countries : a selective survey

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  • Hoekman, Bernard
  • Ozden, Caglar

Abstract

Nonreciprocal trade preferences and provisions in the GATT/WTO that allow developing countries greater leeway to retain or use protectionist policies are two of the central planks of so-called special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries in the multilateral trading system. The authors survey the literature on the rationales, institutional features, and economic effectiveness of SDT. A large literature has emerged on SDT in the past 50 years, by both proponents and opponents. They summarize a number of key contributions on the subject, with a special emphasis on the evaluation of the impact of SDT, especially preferential market access. The issue of SDT has become very topical again, following a period during which it was viewed as an outdated concept for the multilateral trading system. The authors therefore devote attention as well to a number of recent contributions that discuss (1) whetherthere is a continued need for SDT, and (2) how this might be designed from both a development (recipient) objective and from the perspective of the trading system more generally. A major theme of the survey is that most of the issues that are debated today were already being discussed in the 1960s. The authors conclude that those who questioned the value of unilateral preferences have proven to be prescient.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3566.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3566

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Keywords: TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Trade Policy; Trade and Regional Integration;

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References

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  1. Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "Aid through Trade: An effective option," International Trade, EconWPA 0308011, EconWPA.
  2. Aitken, Norman D & Obutelewicz, Robert S, 1976. "A Cross-Sectional Study of EEC Trade with the Association of African Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(4), pages 425-33, November.
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  7. Finger, J M, 1976. "Trade and Domestic Effects of the Offshore Assembly Provision in the U.S. Tariff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 598-611, September.
  8. Mari Pangestu, 2000. "Special and Differential Treatment in the Millennium: Special for Whom and How Different?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(9), pages 1285-1302, 09.
  9. Pelzman, Joseph & Schoepfle, Gregory K, 1988. "The Impact of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act on Caribbean Nations' Exports and Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(4), pages 753-96, July.
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  14. repec:rus:hseeco:123147 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Hoekman, Bernard, 2004. "Dismantling Discrimination Against Developing Countries: Access, Rules and Differential Treatment," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Brenton, Paul, 2003. "Integrating the least developed countries into the world trading system : the current impact of EU preferences under everything but arms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3018, The World Bank.
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