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A Survey of the Literature on the WTO Dispute Settlement System


  • Horn, Henrik

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Mavroidis, Petros C.

    (Columbia University)


This paper surveys the law and economics literature on WTO dispute settlement. As a background, we first briefly lay out main features of the legal framework, and discuss possible roles of a dispute settlement mechanism. We then discuss the two main themes in the empirical literature on dispute settlement: (i) the determinants of participation by members as complainants, respondents and third parties; and (ii) the role of the DS system for the settling of disputes. The paper finally points to a number of areas that are in need of further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2006. "A Survey of the Literature on the WTO Dispute Settlement System," Working Paper Series 684, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0684

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ethier, Wilfred J., 2001. "Theoretical problems in negotiating trade liberalization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 209-232, June.
    2. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Bown, Chad P., 2003. "Antidumping and retaliation threats," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 249-273, August.
    3. Chad P . Bown, 2002. "The Economics of Trade Disputes, the GATT's Article XXIII, and the WTO's Dispute Settlement Understanding," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 283-323, November.
    4. Wilfred J. Ethier, "undated". "Punishment and Dispute Settlement in Trade Agreements," EPRU Working Paper Series 01-14, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. Earl L. Grinols & Roberto Perrelli, 2006. "The WTO Impact on International Trade Disputes: An Event History Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 613-624, November.
    6. Guzman, Andrew, 2003. "The Political Economy of Litigation and Settlement at the WTO," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt4wr4j18z, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Chad P. Bown, 2004. "Developing Countries as Plaintiffs and Defendants in GATT/WTO Trade Disputes," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 59-80, January.
    9. Guzman, Andrew T, 2002. "The Cost of Credibility: Explaining Resistance to Interstate Dispute Resolution Mechanisms," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 303-326, June.
    10. Butler, Monika & Hauser, Heinz, 2000. "The WTO Dispute Settlement System: First Assessment from an Economic Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 503-533, October.
    11. Chad P. Bown, 2005. "Participation in," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 287-310.
    12. Sykes, Alan O., 2003. "The safeguards mess: a critique of WTO jurisprudence," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 261-295, November.
    13. Bagwell,K. & Mavroidis,P.C. & Staiger,R.W., 2003. "The case for auctioning countermeasures in the WTO," Working papers 14, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ceva, Emanuela & Fracasso, Andrea, 2010. "Seeking mutual understanding: a discourse-theoretical analysis of the WTO Dispute Settlement System," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 457-485, July.

    More about this item


    WTO; Dispute Settlement; DSU;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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