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Does the World Trade Organization Promote Trade? An Empirical Assessment of Agricultural and Non‐Agricultural Trade Flows

  • Grant, Jason H.
  • Boys, Kathryn A.

In this paper we ask whether the GATT/WTO has actually failed to increase members’ agricultural trade. Surprisingly, there is very little empirical econometric support to shed light on this question despite the fact that agricultural trade is often at the forefront of multilateral negotiations. We address this issue by considering GATT/WTO effects across agricultural and non‐agricultural sectors. Despite much ‘hoopla and hype’ that the GATT/WTO has done nothing to boost members’ agricultural trade, our results suggest that the multilateral institution has delivered significant positive effects on agricultural trade over the period 1980‐2004. Moreover, in many cases the trade flow effect of membership in the GATT/WTO exceeds that of non‐agriculture, merchandise trade. The results have important policy implications when one considers the growing body of literature that often presumes that the GATT/WTO has done nothing to stimulate members' agricultural trade.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49510
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49510.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49510
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  1. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  2. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Arvind Subramanian & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," NBER Working Papers 10024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  6. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  9. Jason H. Grant & Dayton M. Lambert, 2008. "Do Regional Trade Agreements Increase Members' Agricultural Trade?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 765-782.
  10. Michael Tomz & Judith L. Goldstein & Douglas Rivers, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2005-2018, December.
  11. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 5565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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