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Learning by Ruling and Trade Disputes

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  • Giovanni Maggi
  • Robert W. Staiger

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2017. "Learning by Ruling and Trade Disputes," NBER Working Papers 23774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23774
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    Cited by:

    1. Mostafa Beshkar & Jee-Hyeong Park, 2017. "Dispute Settlement with Second-Order Uncertainty: The Case of International Trade Disputes," CAEPR Working Papers 2017-010, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    2. Mostafa Beshkar & Jee‐Hyeong Park, 2021. "Dispute Settlement With Second‐Order Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1433-1452, November.
    3. Cosnita-Langlais, Andreea & Tropeano, Jean-Philippe, 2022. "Learning by litigating: An application to antitrust commitments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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