IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/2859.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Economic and Legal Aspects of the Most Favoured Nation Clause

Author

Listed:
  • Horn, Henrik
  • Mavroidis, Petros C

Abstract

The Most-Favored Nation clause (MFN) forbids Members of a trade agreement to discriminate between trading partners. It is typically seen as one of the main features of the multilateral trading system, and appears in several of the agreements in the World Trade Organization. There seems to be a rather widespread belief among policy makers that there are strong economic rationales for the MFN provision. The purpose of the Paper is to survey economic theory that may shed light on whether this view is well founded or not, and to summarise salient features of the case law as it concerns MFN.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2859
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2859
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Lars, 2001. "Endogenous mergers in concentrated markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1213-1244, September.
    2. Ethier, Wilfred J., 2001. "Theoretical problems in negotiating trade liberalization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-232, June.
    3. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism and Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-251.
    4. Hong Hwang & Chao-Cheng Mai, 1991. "Optimum Discriminatory Tariffs under Oligopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 693-702, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Raymond RIEZMAN, 2013. "Customs Unions and the Core," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.), International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 3, pages 33-43, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "The Politics of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 667-690, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Sang-Seung, Yi, 1996. "Endogenous formation of customs unions under imperfect competition: open regionalism is good," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 153-177, August.
    10. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Negotiated Trade Restrictions with Private Political Pressure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1287-1307.
    11. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    12. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
    13. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J., 1997. "Preferential trading arrangements and industrial location," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 347-368, November.
    14. Henrick Horn & Asher Wolinsky, 1988. "Bilateral Monopolies and Incentives for Merger," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 408-419, Autumn.
    15. 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.
    16. Motta, Massimo & Norman, George, 1996. "Does Economic Integration Cause Foreign Direct Investment?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 757-783, November.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    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. Amy Jocelyn Glass & Kamal Saggi, 2000. "Crowding Out and Distributional Effects of FDI Policies," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0267, Econometric Society.
    21. Winters, L. Alan, 1996. "Regionalism versus multilateralism," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1687, The World Bank.
    22. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
    23. Cooper, Thomas E. & Fries, Timothy L., 1991. "The most-favored-nation pricing policy and negotiated prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 209-223, June.
    24. Madanmohan Ghosh & Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 1998. "The Value of MFN Treatment," NBER Working Papers 6461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    26. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-519, September.
    27. Theodore To, 1999. "Dynamics and Discriminatory Import Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1057-1068, August.
    28. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401.
    29. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Co-operation," International Economic Association Series, in: John Piggott & Alan Woodland (ed.), International Trade Policy and the Pacific Rim, chapter 7, pages 157-190, Palgrave Macmillan.
    30. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "The Competitiveness of Markets with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 138-150, Spring.
    31. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494, Elsevier.
    32. Schwartz, Warren F. & Sykes, Alan O., 1996. "Toward a positive theory of the most favored nation obligation and its exceptions in the WTO/GATT system," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 27-51, March.
    33. 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.
    34. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    2. Kyle Bagwell & Chad P. Bown & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "Is the WTO Passé?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1125-1231, December.
    3. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 317-390, Elsevier.
    4. Mohammad Amin, 2004. "Time Inconsistency of Trade Policy and Multilateralism," International Trade 0402002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Richard E. Baldwin, 2011. "Multilateralising Regionalism: Spaghetti Bowls as Building Blocks on the Path to Global Free Trade," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume I, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Negotiating free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30, September.
    7. Furusawa, Taiji & Konishi, Hideo, 2007. "Free trade networks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 310-335, July.
    8. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    9. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    10. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2010. "Backward stealing and forward manipulation in the WTO," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 49-62, September.
    11. Wilhelm Kohler, 2000. "Die Osterweiterung der EU aus der Sicht bestehender Mitgliedsländer: Was lehrt uns die Theorie der ökonomischen Integration?," Economics working papers 2000-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    12. Kamal Saggi & Faruk Sengul, 2018. "On the emergence of an MFN club: equal treatment in an unequal world," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Kamal Saggi (ed.), Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 4, pages 76-108, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Richard Baldwin, 2008. "Big-Think Regionalism: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 14056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Kamal Saggi, 2018. "Tariffs and the most favored nation clause," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Kamal Saggi (ed.), Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 1, pages 3-32, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Ana Mauleon & Huasheng Song & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2010. "Networks of Free Trade Agreements among Heterogeneous Countries," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 471-500, June.
    16. Cole, Matthew T. & Lake, James & Zissimos, Ben, 2021. "Contesting an international trade agreement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    17. Winters, L. Alan, 1996. "Regionalism versus Multilateralism," CEPR Discussion Papers 1525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Marco Fugazza & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2014. "The “Emulator Effect” of the Uruguay Round on US Regionalism," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 1049-1078, November.
    19. Stoyanov, Andrey & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2015. "Preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization and the role of political economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 140-164.
    20. Arvind Panagariya, 1999. "The Regionalism Debate: An Overview," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 455-476, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Most-favoured-nation clause; non-discrimination in trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    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:cpr:ceprdp:2859. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    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.