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The value of making commitments externally: Evidence from WTO accessions

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  • Tang, Man-Keung
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

Abstract

This paper studies the value of external commitment to policy reforms in the case of WTO/GATT accessions. The accessions often entail reforms that go beyond narrowly defined trade liberalization, and have to overcome fierce resistance in the acceding countries, as reflected in protracted negotiations. We study the growth and investment consequences of WTO/GATT accessions, with attention to a possible selection bias. We find that the accessions tend to raise income, but only for those countries that were subject to rigorous accession procedures. Policy commitments associated with the accessions were helpful, especially for countries with poor governance.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:78:y:2009:i:2:p:216-229
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade Growth Economic reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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