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Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?

  • Rose, Andrew K

This Paper estimates the effect on international trade of multilateral trade agreements: the World Trade Organization (WTO), its predecessor the Generalized Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) extended from rich countries to developing countries. I use a standard ‘gravity’ model of bilateral merchandise trade and a large panel data set covering over fifty years and 175 countries. Despite an extensive search, I am basically unable to find positive significant effects of GATT/WTO membership on trade. The GSP does seem to have a strong effect, and is associated with an approximate doubling of trade.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3538.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3538
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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72.
  2. Deardorff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Papers 95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  3. Alston, Richard M & Kearl, J R & Vaughan, Michael B, 1992. "Is There a Consensus among Economists in the 1990's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 203-09, May.
  4. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: a Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," Working Papers 9912, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 1999.
  5. Kearl, J R, et al, 1979. "A Confusion of Economists?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 28-37, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:48:y:1981:i:4:p:579-86 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
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