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The WTO as a Mechanism for Securing Market Access Property Rights: Implications for Global Labor and Environmental Issues

  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

Can the World Trade Organization (WTO) contribute to the attainment of sound labor and environmental policies? An answer requires an understanding of WTO rules. We argue that the purpose of WTO rules is to create a negotiating forum where governments can exchange secure market access commitments. From this perspective, we argue that supporters of sound trade, labor and environmental policies can benefit from a well-functioning WTO, because facilitating trade liberalization and preventing race-to-the-bottom/regulatory-chill problems go hand in hand, and each is accomplished by maintaining secure property rights over negotiated market access commitments.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.3.69
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 69-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:3:p:69-88
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.69
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  1. Gros, Daniel, 1987. "A note on the optimal tariff, retaliation and the welfare loss from tariff wars in a framework with intra-industry trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 357-367, November.
  2. Feenstra, R.C., 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," Department of Economics 95-10, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  3. Won Chang & L. Alan Winters, 2002. "How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 889-904, September.
  4. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1990. "A Theory of Managed Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 779-95, September.
  5. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
  6. Nuno Limão, 2002. "Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?," International Trade 0206002, EconWPA, revised 28 Jul 2002.
  7. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
  8. 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.
  9. Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2003. "Is environmental policy a secondary trade barrier? An empirical analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 137-154, February.
  10. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
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