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International Market Access Rights and the Evolution of the International Trade System


  • Carsten Herrmann-Pillath


In international trade policy, the concept of market access is pivotal. Yet, it remains a neglected category in institutional-economics approaches to international trade. The paper introduces a new analytical category, which relates explicitly to the exchange of market access among governments: market access rights (MARs). Tariffs, quotas, standards, border controls, etc. are all treated as specific institutional forms of MARs. Major aspects of the international trade system can be explained as evolving institutional solutions to problems in transacting MARs, such as the most favored nation (MFN) clause as a mechanism to internalize externalities, and the rules governing safeguards and retaliation as procedures of continuous renegotiation of MARs with changing value.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2008. "International Market Access Rights and the Evolution of the International Trade System," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(2), pages 302-326, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200806)164:2_302:imarat_2.0.tx_2-l

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    Cited by:

    1. Herrmann-Pillath Carsten, 2009. "Der Treibhausgas-Emissionshandel in evolutionsökonomischer Perspektive," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 60(1), pages 558-564, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School


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