IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/att/wimass/200019.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

GATT-think

Author

Listed:
  • Bagwell,K.
  • Staiger,R.W.

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute)

Abstract

We describe recent work on the theory of trade agreements that speaks to the purpose and design of GATT. Our discussion proceeds in three steps. First, we examine the purpose of a trade agreement. In both the traditional economic and the political-economy approaches to the study of trade agreements, the problem for a trade agreement to solve is the excessive protection that arises in the absence of an agreement as a consequence of the terms-of-trade externality. Second, we consider the origin and design of GATT. We note that GATT is a rules-based institution whose origin can be traced to the disastrous economic performance that accompanied the high tariffs of the 1920's and 1930's. Finally, we review the theoretical literature that interprets and evaluates the institutional features found in GATT. We consider in particular whether GATT articles can be interpreted as offering negotiation rules that help governments undo the inefficient restrictions in trade that are caused by the terms-of-trade externality. On the whole, our review suggests that the core principles of GATT indeed may be interpreted in this manner. Specifically, we report findings that indicate that the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination work in concert to remedy the inefficiency created by the terms-of-trade externality. We also extract a variety of predictions from the literature on enforcement and trade policy, and we argue that these predictions are broadly compatible with both the design of GATT and certain historical experiences in trade-policy conduct. We thus interpret the literature reviewed here as providing a strong presumption for the view that GATT can be understood as an institution whose central principles are well-designed to assist governments in their attempt to escape from a terms-of-trade-driven Prisoners' Dilemma. Our review therefore offers support for the (politically-augmented) terms-of-trade theory as an appropriate framework within which to interpret and evaluat
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  • Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:200019
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/econ/archive/wp2019.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1997. "Multilateral tariff cooperation during the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 91-123, February.
    2. Robert Staiger, 1994. "A Theory of Gradual Trade Liberalization," International Trade 9410003, EconWPA, revised 21 Oct 1994.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
    4. Robert C. Feenstra & Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1982. "Tariff Seeking and the Efficient Tariff," NBER Chapters,in: Import Competition and Response, pages 245-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Richard E. Caves, 1976. "Economic Models of Political Choice: Canada's Tariff Structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-300, May.
    6. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
    7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    8. Bond, E. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inter-Regional Cooperation," Discussion Papers 93-17, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    9. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, and International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562.
    10. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    11. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
    12. John Whalley, 1984. "Trade Liberalization among Major World Trading Areas," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262231204, January.
    13. Limao, Nuno, 2005. "Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 175-199, September.
    14. Gene M. Grossman & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Free Trade vs. Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," NBER Working Papers 6211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Freund, Caroline, 2000. "Multilateralism and the endogenous formation of preferential trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 359-376, December.
    16. Staiger, Robert W., 1995. "International rules and institutions for trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1495-1551 Elsevier.
    17. Devereux, Michael B, 1997. "Growth, Specialization, and Trade Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 565-585, August.
    18. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-1187, December.
    19. Chisik, Richard, 2003. "Gradualism in free trade agreements: a theoretical justification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 367-397, March.
    20. Winters, L. Alan & Won Chang, 1997. "Regional integration and the prices of imports : an empirical investigation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1782, The World Bank.
    21. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
    22. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Strategic Trade, Competitive Industries and Agricultural Trade Disputes," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 113-128, July.
    23. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    24. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2001. "Reciprocity, non-discrimination and preferential agreements in the multilateral trading system," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 281-325, June.
    25. McLaren, John, 1997. "Size, Sunk Costs, and Judge Bowker's Objection to Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 400-420, June.
    26. Lapan, Harvey E, 1988. "The Optimal Tariff, Production Lags, and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 395-401, June.
    27. Bagwell Kyle & Staiger Robert W., 2003. "Protection and the Business Cycle," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-45, September.
    28. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-58.
    29. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
    30. Furusawa, Taiji & Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1999. "Adjustment costs and gradual trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 333-361, December.
    31. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    32. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 1999. "Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 400-430, June.
    33. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1998. "The New Regionalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1149-1161, July.
    34. Staiger, Robert W. & Tabellini, Guido, 1989. "Rules and discretion in trade policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1265-1277, July.
    35. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 480-492, June.
    36. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
    37. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
    38. Spagnolo, G., 1999. "Issue Linkage, Delegation, and International Policy Cooperation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9913, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    39. Eric W. Bond & Jee-Hyeong Park, 2002. "Gradualism in Trade Agreements with Asymmetric Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 379-406.
    40. John McLaren, 2002. "A Theory of Insidious Regionalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 571-608.
    41. Brown, D.K. & Dearorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1993. "International Labor Standards and Trade: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 333, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    42. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1990. "A Theory of Managed Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 779-795, September.
    43. bagwell, K. & Staiger, R.W., 1995. "Protection and Business cycle," Working papers 9511, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    44. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-153, March.
    45. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
    46. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2001. "Economic and legal aspects of the Most-Favored-Nation clause," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 233-279, June.
    47. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 2005. "Reciprocated unilateralism in trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 461-487, March.
    48. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    49. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
    50. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
    51. Fernandez, Raquel & Portes, Jonathan, 1998. "Returns to Regionalism: An Analysis of Nontraditional Gains from Regional Trade Agreements," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 197-220, May.
    52. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    53. Ostry, Sylvia, 1997. "The Post-Cold War Trading System," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226637907, April.
    54. Carmichael, Calum M., 1987. "The control of export credit subsidies and its welfare consequences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
    55. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
    56. R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, July.
    57. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1998. "Will Preferential Agreements Undermine the Multilateral Trading System?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1162-1182, July.
    58. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
    59. Jay Culbert, 1987. "War-time Anglo-American Talks and the Making of the GATT," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 381-399, December.
    60. Collie, David R, 1997. "Bilateralism Is Good: Trade Blocs and Strategic Export Subsidies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 504-520, October.
    61. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters,in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    62. Brainard, S Lael, 1994. "Last One Out Wins: Trade Policy in an International Exit Game," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 151-172, February.
    63. Dan Kovenock & Marie Thursby, 1992. "Gatt, Dispute Settlement And Cooperation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 151-170, July.
    64. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 5921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    65. Maskin, Eric S & Newbery, David M, 1990. "Disadvantageous Oil Tariffs and Dynamic Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 143-156, March.
    66. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Greenaway, David & Panagariya, Arvind, 1998. "Trading Preferentially: Theory and Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1128-1148, July.
    67. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-837, December.
    68. Winters, L. Alan, 1996. "Regionalism versus multilateralism," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1687, The World Bank.
    69. Rodney D. Ludema, 1991. "International Trade Bargaining And The Most-Favored-Nation Clause," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, March.
    70. McCalman, Phillip, 2002. "Multi-lateral trade negotiations and the Most Favored Nation clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 151-176, June.
    71. Gruenspecht, Howard K., 1988. "Dumping and dynamic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 225-248, November.
    72. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 575.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Limao, Nuno, 2005. "Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 175-199, September.
    2. Michiel Kok & Richard Nahuis & Albert de Vaal, 2004. "On labour standards and free trade," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 137-158.
    3. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
    4. Rolf J. Langhammer, 2010. "Unordnung in der internationalen Handelsordnung: Befunde, Gründe, Auswirkungen und Therapien," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(1), pages 75-98, February.
    5. Paolo Epifani & Juliette Vitaloni, 2006. ""GATT-think" with Asymmetric Countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 427-444, August.
    6. Freund, Caroline, 2003. "Reciprocity in free trade agreements," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3061, The World Bank.
    7. Michael A. Clemens & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "Closed Jaguar, Open Dragon: Comparing Tariffs in Latin America and Asia before World War II," NBER Working Papers 9401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael A. Clemens & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "A Tariff-Growth Paradox? Protection's Impact the World Around 1875-1997," NBER Working Papers 8459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:att:wimass:200019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ailsenne Sumwalt). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.