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Is the GATT/WTO's Article XXIV bad?

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  • Mrázová, Monika
  • Vines, David
  • Zissimos, Ben

Abstract

The GATT/WTO Article XXIV prevents a customs union (CU) from raising its common external tariff. In this paper, we compare CU formation with and without this Article XXIV constraint. We show, in a multi-country oligopoly model, that for a given CU structure, Article XXIV improves world welfare by lowering trade barriers. However, we also show that Article XXIV has a composition effect on CU formation: it affects the endogenous choice of CUs. By encouraging more symmetric CUs, Article XXIV causes more trade to be subject to trade barriers. As a result, Article XXIV may be ‘bad’ for world welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Mrázová, Monika & Vines, David & Zissimos, Ben, 2013. "Is the GATT/WTO's Article XXIV bad?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 216-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:89:y:2013:i:1:p:216-232
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2012.07.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2013. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4103, CESifo.
    2. Saggi, Kamal & Wong, Woan Foong & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2019. "Should the WTO require free trade agreements to eliminate internal tariffs?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 316-330.
    3. Xuepeng Liu & Emanuel Ornelas, 2014. "Free Trade Agreements and the Consolidation of Democracy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 29-70, April.
    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. Nathalie Jorzik & Frank Mueller‐Langer, 2020. "Multilateral stability and efficiency of trade agreements: A network formation approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 355-370, February.
    6. Facchini, Giovanni & Silva, Peri & Willmann, Gerald, 2013. "The customs union issue: Why do we observe so few of them?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 136-147.
    7. Ben Zissimos, 2011. "Why are Trade Agreements Regional?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 32-45, February.
    8. Mrázová, Monika & Neary, J. Peter, 2020. "IO for exports(s)," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    9. Matthew T. Cole & James Lake & Benjamin Zissimos, 2018. "Contesting an International Trade Agreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 6956, CESifo.
    10. Paul Missios & Kamal Saggi & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2018. "External trade diversion, exclusion incentives and the nature of preferential trade agreements," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Kamal Saggi (ed.), Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 10, pages 223-237, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Paul Missios & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2017. "Do SouthSouth preferential trade agreements undermine the prospects for multilateral free trade?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(1), pages 111-161, February.
    12. Cole, Matthew T. & Lake, James & Zissimos, Ben, 2021. "Contesting an international trade agreement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    13. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 317-390, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coalition formation game; Customs union; Protection; Trade block; Trade liberalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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