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Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?

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  • R. W. Staiger
  • G. Tabellini

Abstract

We investigate empirically whether GATT rules may have helped the US government make trade policy commitments to its private sector. We study choices under two distinct environments. One environment is the determination of sectoral exclusions in the Tokyo Round of GATT negotiations. The other is the determination of tariff responses under GATT's escape clause. In each environment the US government was faced with a similar decision, but only in the former environment did GATT rules serve as a potential commitment device. Comparing decisions made across these two environments, we find evidence that GATT rules did help the US government make domestic trade policy commitments that it could not have made in the absence of these rules. Copyright 1999 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:11:y:1999:i:2:p:109-144
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    Cited by:

    1. Chang, Pao-Li & Lee, Myoung-Jae, 2011. "The WTO trade effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 53-71, September.
    2. Mohammad Amin, 2004. "Time Inconsistency of Trade Policy and Multilateralism," International Trade 0402002, EconWPA.
    3. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2009. "Do credible domestic institutions promote credible international agreements?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 160-170, September.
    4. Kyle Bagwell & Chad P. Bown & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "Is the WTO Passé?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1125-1231, December.
    5. Tang, Man-Keung & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2009. "The value of making commitments externally: Evidence from WTO accessions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 216-229, July.
    6. Meredith A. Crowley, 2006. "Why are safeguards needed in a trade agreement?," Working Paper Series WP-06-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Brou Daniel & Ruta Michele, 2013. "A Commitment Theory of Subsidy Agreements," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 239-270, May.
    8. repec:jfr:ijfr11:v:9:y:2018:i:1:p:163-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    10. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2011. "Short‐Run Policy Commitment When Investment Timing Is Endogenous: ‘More Harm Than Good?’," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 82-107, January.
    11. Stephen Cameron & Shubham Chaudhuri & John McLaren, 2007. "Trade Shocks and Labor Adjustment: Theory," NBER Working Papers 13463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Simon Schropp, 2007. "Revisiting the "Compliance-vs.-Rebalancing" Debate in WTO Scholarship a Unified Research Agenda," IHEID Working Papers 29-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Dec 2007.
    13. Christodoulopoulou, Styliani, 2010. "THE Effects of Multilateral Trade Liberalization on the Extensive and the Intensive Margins of Trade," MPRA Paper 29169, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Ozden, Caglar & Reinhardt, Eric, 2005. "The perversity of preferences: GSP and developing country trade policies, 1976-2000," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 1-21, October.
    15. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    16. Bown,Chad P. & Bown,Chad P., 2015. "What?s left for the WTO ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7502, The World Bank.
    17. Limão, Nuno & Tovar, Patricia, 2011. "Policy choice: Theory and evidence from commitment via international trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 186-205.
    18. Johannes Urpelainen, 2011. "Early birds: Special interests and the strategic logic of international cooperation," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 113-140, July.
    19. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Contributions Of The Gatt/Wto To Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 56-92, February.
    20. Keck, Alexander & Schropp, Simon, 2007. "Indisputably essential: The economics of dispute settlement institutions in trade agreements," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2007-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    21. Tsuyoshi Toshimitsu, 2012. "Free Trade, Time-Consistent Tariff, and Market Size: The Role of GATT/WTO as Commitment Devices," Discussion Paper Series 79, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jan 2012.
    22. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "Enforcement, Private Political Pressure and the GATT/WTO Escape Clause," NBER Working Papers 10987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Everaert, Greetje M.M., 2004. "The political economy of restructuring and subsidisation : an international perspective," BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    24. Alan O. Sykes, 2005. "Public versus Private Enforcement of International Economic Law: Standing and Remedy," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 631-666, June.

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