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The MFN clause, welfare, and multilateral cooperation between countries of unequal size

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  • Saggi, Kamal

Abstract

This paper analyzes MFN in a "competing exporters" model of trade between three countries with unequal endowments and shows that MFN yields higher aggregate welfare than tariff discrimination even as it makes low income countries worse off. Furthermore, in a repeated game of tariff cooperation, multilateral free trade is easier to sustain under MFN punishments relative to discriminatory ones. This conclusion holds even when tariff discrimination takes the form of bilateral trade agreements. Overall, the analysis shows that from the viewpoint of low income countries, MFN and multilateral tariff cooperation are complementary in nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Saggi, Kamal, 2009. "The MFN clause, welfare, and multilateral cooperation between countries of unequal size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 132-143, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:132-143
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Blanchard,Emily J. & Bown,Chad P. & Johnson,Robert Christopher & Blanchard,Emily J. & Bown,Chad P. & Johnson,Robert Christopher, 2016. "Global supply chains and trade policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7536, The World Bank.
    2. Euan MacMillan, 2014. "Explaining rising regionalism and failing multilateralism: consensus decision-making and expanding WTO membership," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 599-617, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Edwin L.-C. Lai, 2008. "The most-favored nation rule in club enlargement negotiation," Working Papers 0815, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Ludema, Rodney D & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2010. "Do terms-of-trade effects matter for trade agreements? Evidence from WTO countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 7695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Kamal Saggi & Woan Foong Wong & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2017. "Preferential Trade Agreements and Rules of the Multilateral Trading System," Working Papers 067, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    7. Hong-Ren Din & Kuang-Cheng Andy Wang & Wen-Jung Liang, 2016. "MFN vs Tariff Discrimination in the Presence of Cross Ownership," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 1149-1166, November.

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