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Recurrent Trade Agreements and the Value of External Enforcement

  • Klimenko, Mikhail
  • Ramey, Garey
  • Watson, Joel

This paper presents a theory of dynamic trade agreements in which external institutions, such as the WTO, play a central role in supporting credible enforcement. In our model, countries engage in ongoing negotiations, and as a consequence cooperative agreements become unsustainable in the absence of external enforcement institutions. By using mechanisms such as delays in dispute resolution and direct penalties, enforcement institutions can restore incentives for cooperation, despite the lack of any coercive power. The occurrence of costly trade disputes, and the feasibility of mechanisms such as escape clauses, depend on the adaptability of enforcement institutions in their use of information.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt9xm2x5w7.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt9xm2x5w7
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  18. Hungerford, Thomas L., 1991. "GATT: A cooperative equilibrium in a noncooperative trading regime?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 357-369, November.
  19. 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.
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  21. David G. Pearce, 1987. "Renegotiation-Proof Equilibria: Collective Rationality and Intertemporal Cooperation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 855, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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