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Backward stealing and forward manipulation in the WTO

  • Bagwell,K.
  • Staiger,R.W.

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

Motivated by the structure of WTO negotiations, we analyze a bargaining environment in which negotiations proceed bilaterally and sequentially under the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle. We identify backward-stealing and forward-manipulation problems that arise when governments bargain under the MFN principle in a sequential fashion. We show that these problems impede governments from achieving the multilateral efficiency frontier unless further rules of negotiation are imposed. We identify the WTO nullification-or-impairment and renegotiation provisions and its reciprocity norm as rules that are capable of providing solutions to these problems. In this way, we suggest that WTO rules can facilitate the negotiation of efficient multilateral trade agreements in a world in which the addition of new and economically significant countries to the world trading system is an ongoing process.

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File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~rstaiger/accession.wto.revision.0326.2004.pdf
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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 9.

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Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:20049
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 5921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric Bond & Stephen Ching & Edwin L. C. Lai, 2000. "Accession Rules and Trade Agreements: The Case of the WTO," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1626, Econometric Society.
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  9. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limão, Nuno, 2008. "The clash of liberalizations: Preferential vs. multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 299-327, March.
  10. Rodney Ludema (Georgetown University) and Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University and CEPR), 2005. "Do Countries Free Ride on MFN?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-13, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, March.
  13. Chad P. Bown, 2004. "On the Economic Success of GATT/WTO Dispute Settlement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 811-823, August.
  14. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2005. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," CEPR Discussion Papers 5122, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2010. "The World Trade Organization: Theory and Practice," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 223-256, 09.
  16. Douglas A. Irwin, 2006. "Tariff Incidence in America's Gilded Age," NBER Working Papers 12162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. McAfee, R Preston & Schwartz, Marius, 1994. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 210-30, March.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Nuno Limão, 2002. "Are Preferential Trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Bloc for Multilateral Liberalization?," International Trade 0206001, EconWPA.
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  23. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
  24. Nuno Limao, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 896-914, June.
  25. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1987. "Contracts as a Barrier to Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 388-401, June.
  26. Leslie M. Marx & Greg Shaffer, 2004. "Opportunism in Multilateral Vertical Contracting: Nondiscrimination, Exclusivity, and Uniformity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 796-801, June.
  27. Nuno Limão, 2007. "Are Preferential Trade Agreements with Non-trade Objectives a Stumbling Block for Multilateral Liberalization?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 821-855.
  28. 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.
  29. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C, 2001. "Economic and Legal Aspects of the Most Favoured Nation Clause," CEPR Discussion Papers 2859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Bilateral Opportunism and the Rules of GATT," NBER Working Papers 7071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Leslie M. Marx & Greg Shaffer, 1999. "Predatory Accommodation: Below-Cost Pricing without Exclusion in Intermediate Goods Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(1), pages 22-43, Spring.
  32. Hoekman, Bernard M. & Kostecki, Michel M., 2009. "The Political Economy of the World Trading System," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780199553778, December.
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