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Tracing the Effects of WTO Accession on Policy‐making in Sovereign States: Preliminary Lessons from the Recent Experience of Transition Countries

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  • Zdenek Drabek
  • Marc Bacchetta

Abstract

We examine in this paper the effects of WTO Accession on policy‐making and institutional reforms in transition countries. This is done by looking at the experience of those transition countries which are already Members of the WTO and/or which have recently acceded. We start by trying to distinguish between effects of accession negotiations and from those which are the results of autonomous policy initiatives. The areas of domestic policy‐making which are considered in the analysis include market access, governance, government budget, structural reforms, trade and investment arrangements with regional partners and macroeconomic management. We find that no precise blueprint of accession conditions can be ascertained and argue that the WTO played a role, albeit not an exclusive one, in the process of liberalisation. We also find that the costs of WTO Accession are not negligible, but that the benefits of WTO Membership are significant in terms of improved, more predictable, market access and its stability, improved governance and a recourse to better economic policies without significant loss to government revenues.

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  • Zdenek Drabek & Marc Bacchetta, 2004. "Tracing the Effects of WTO Accession on Policy‐making in Sovereign States: Preliminary Lessons from the Recent Experience of Transition Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 1083-1125, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:7:p:1083-1125
    DOI: 10.1111/j.0378-5920.2004.00639.x
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    1. Kent Jones & Yunwei Gai, 2013. "Joining the WTO: Why Does It Take So Long?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 695-716, September.
    2. Jung Park, Tae, 2013. "International Economic Law, and Institutions in Developing Countries," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 14(2), pages 1-31.
    3. Rainer Schweickert & Inna Melnykovska & Ansgar Belke & Ingo Bordon, 2011. "Prospective NATO or EU membership and institutional change in transition countries," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(4), pages 667-692, October.
    4. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    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. Drautzburg, Thorsten & Melnykovska, Inna & Schweickert, Rainer, 2008. "Which membership matters? External vs. internal determinants of institutional change in transition countries," Kiel Working Papers 1421, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Choudhury, Sanchari, 2019. "WTO membership and corruption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    8. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2006. "Distortions to World Trade: Impacts on Agricultural Markets and Farm Incomes," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 168-194.
    9. Dupont, Cédric, 2011. "What role for regional economic organizations in a fragmented trade world? The case of ASEAN," Papers 242, World Trade Institute.
    10. Andrew K. Rose, 2011. "GATT/WTO Membership and its Effect on Trade: Where Do We Stand?," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 18, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. 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.
    12. Belke, Ansgar & Bordon, Ingo G. & Melnykovska, Inna & Schweickert, Rainer, 2009. "Prospective membership and institutional change in transition countries," Kiel Working Papers 1562, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Ansgar Belke & Ingo Bordon & Inna Melnykovska & Rainer Schweickert, 2009. "Prospective NATO or EU Membership and Institutional Change in Transition Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0131, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    14. Thorsten Drautzburg & Andrea Gawrich & Inna Melnykovska, 2008. "Institutional Convergence of CIS Towards European Benchmarks," CASE Network Reports 0082, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    15. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Agricultural Trade, Policy Reforms, and Global Food Security," Palgrave Studies in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-137-46925-0.
    16. repec:zbw:rwirep:0131 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Kaminski, Bartlomiej, 2006. "Bulgaria's institutions and policies : integrating into Pan-European markets," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3864, The World Bank.
    18. Sudip Ranjan Basu & Victor Ognivtsev & Miho Shirotori, 2009. "Building Trade-Relating Institutions And Wto Accession," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 41, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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