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The WTO: Theory and Practice

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  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

Abstract

We consider the purpose and design of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, GATT. We review recent developments in the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. And we describe the GATT/WTO architecture and briefly trace its historical antecedents. We suggest that the existing literature provides a useful framework for understanding and interpreting central features of the design and practice of the GATT/WTO, and we identify key unresolved issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2009. "The WTO: Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 15445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15445
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giovanni Maggi & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "A Political-Economy Theory of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1374-1406, September.
    2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
    3. Thomas Prusa & Susan Skeath, 2002. "The economic and strategic motives for antidumping filings," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(3), pages 389-413, September.
    4. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    5. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2015. "Delocation and trade agreements in imperfectly competitive markets," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 132-156.
    6. Holger Spamann, 2006. "The Myth of 'Rebalancing' Retaliation in WTO Dispute Settlement Practice," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 31-79, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2012. "The economics of trade agreements in the linear Cournot delocation model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 32-46.
    9. Lee, Gea M., 2007. "Trade agreements with domestic policies as disguised protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 241-259, March.
    10. Agur Itai, 2008. "The US Trade Deficit, the Decline of the WTO and the Rise of Regionalism," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-34, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Ludema, Rodney D. & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2009. "Do countries free ride on MFN?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 137-150, April.
    13. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Giovanni Maggi, 2002. "Rigidity, Discretion, and the Costs of Writing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 798-817, September.
    14. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
    15. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Bown, Chad P., 2003. "Antidumping and retaliation threats," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 249-273, August.
    16. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Profit Shifting And Trade Agreements In Imperfectly Competitive Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1067-1104, November.
    17. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "Will International Rules on Subsidies Disrupt the World Trading System?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 877-895, June.
    18. Pol Antràs & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3140-3183, December.
    19. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
    20. 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.
    21. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2001. "Issue Linkage, Credible Delegation, and Policy Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2778, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Eric W. Bond & Jee-Hyeong Park, 2002. "Gradualism in Trade Agreements with Asymmetric Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 379-406.
    23. Jay Culbert, 1987. "War-time Anglo-American Talks and the Making of the GATT," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 381-399, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yoram Haftel, 2013. "Commerce and institutions: Trade, scope, and the design of regional economic organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 389-414, September.
    2. Marchetti, Juan & Roy, Martin & Zoratto, Laura, 2012. "Is there reciprocity in preferential trade agreements on services?," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-16, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements

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