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Learning by Ruling and Trade Disputes

Listed author(s):
  • Giovanni Maggi
  • Robert W. Staiger

Over the WTO years, the frequency of disputes and court rulings has trended downwards. Such trends are sometimes interpreted as symptoms of a dispute resolution system in decline. In this paper we propose a theory that can explain these trends as a result of judicial learning; thus according to our theory such trends represent good news, not bad news. We then offer evidence that the predictions of our model are consistent with WTO trade dispute data, and we take a first step towards estimating the strength and scope of court learning.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23774.

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Date of creation: Sep 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23774
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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  2. Andrew T. Guzman & Beth A. Simmons, 2005. "Power Plays and Capacity Constraints: The Selection of Defendants in World Trade Organization Disputes," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 557-598, 06.
  3. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
  4. Conconi, Paola & DeRemer, David R. & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Trimarchi, Lorenzo & Zanardi, Maurizio, 2017. "Suspiciously timed trade disputes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 57-76.
  5. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  6. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
  7. Ryan Kellogg, 2011. "Learning by Drilling: Interfirm Learning and Relationship Persistence in the Texas Oilpatch," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1961-2004.
  8. Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2011. "The Role of Dispute Settlement Procedures in International Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 475-515.
  9. Jee-Hyeong Park, 2011. "Enforcing International Trade Agreements with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1102-1134.
  10. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 643-681.
  11. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  12. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
  13. Horn, Henrik & Johannesson, Louise & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2011. "The WTO Dispute Settlement System 1995-2010: Some Descriptive Statistics," Working Paper Series 891, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  14. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
  15. Guzman, Andrew & Simmons, Beth A, 2002. "To Settle or Empanel? An Empirical Analysis of Litigation and Settlement at the World Trade Organization," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 205-235, January.
  16. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  17. Scott Baker & Claudio Mezzetti, 2012. "A Theory of Rational Jurisprudence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(3), pages 513-551.
  18. Mostafa Beshkar, 2016. "Arbitration and Renegotiation in Trade Agreements," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 586-619.
  19. Marc L. Busch, 2000. "Democracy, Consultation, and the Paneling of Disputes under GATT," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(4), pages 425-446, August.
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