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"GATT-think" with Asymmetric Countries

  • Paolo Epifani
  • Juliette Vitaloni

We argue that a trade agreement which conforms to GATT's reciprocity rule benefits the (stronger) less trade-dependent country at the expense of the (weaker) more trade-dependent country. Reciprocity is so unfavorable to the weaker country that it may be worse off under reciprocity than under the Nash- bargaining solution, a "power-based" approach to trade negotiations that reflects power asymmetries among trading partners. Our results question Bagwell and Staiger's (1999 , 2000 ) view of reciprocity as a rule that "serves to mitigate the influence of power asymmetries on negotiated outcomes." Copyright � 2006 The Authors; Journal compilation � 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 427-444

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:427-444
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  1. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2001. "Reciprocity, non-discrimination and preferential agreements in the multilateral trading system," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 281-325, June.
  4. repec:att:wimass:9602 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2000. "International trade agreements between countries of asymmetric size," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 473-495, April.
  6. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2000. "GATT-Think," NBER Working Papers 8005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 2000. "The new regionalism: trade liberalization or insurance?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-24, February.
  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. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  10. Richard E. Baldwin, 1997. "The Causes of Regionalism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 865-888, November.
  11. McLaren, John, 1997. "Size, Sunk Costs, and Judge Bowker's Objection to Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 400-420, June.
  12. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
  13. Bond, Eric W & Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2002. "Gradualism in Trade Agreements with Asymmetric Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 379-406, April.
  14. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1996. "Reciprocal Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 5488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Paul Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Nov, pages 5-25.
  16. Michalopoulos, Constantine, 1999. "Trade policy and market access issues for developing countries : implications for the Millennium Round," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2214, The World Bank.
  17. Kennan, John & Riezman, Raymond, 1988. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 81-85, February.
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