IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

GATT-Think

  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

We describe recent work on the theory of trade agreements that speaks to the purpose and design of GATT. Our discussion proceeds in three steps. First, we examine the purpose of a trade agreement. In both the traditional economic and the political-economy approaches to the study of trade agreements, the problem for a trade agreement to solve is the excessive protection that arises in the absence of an agreement as a consequence of the terms-of-trade externality. Second, we consider the origin and design of GATT. We note that GATT is a rules-based institution whose origin can be traced to the disastrous economic performance that accompanied the high tariffs of the 1920's and 1930's. Finally, we review the theoretical literature that interprets and evaluates the institutional features found in GATT. We consider in particular whether GATT articles can be interpreted as offering negotiation rules that help governments undo the inefficient restrictions in trade that are caused by the terms-of-trade externality. On the whole, our review suggests that the core principles of GATT indeed may be interpreted in this manner. Specifically, we report findings that indicate that the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination work in concert to remedy the inefficiency created by the terms-of-trade externality. We also extract a variety of predictions from the literature on enforcement and trade policy, and we argue that these predictions are broadly compatible with both the design of GATT and certain historical experiences in trade-policy conduct. We thus interpret the literature reviewed here as providing a strong presumption for the view that GATT can be understood as an institution whose central principles are well-designed to assist governments in their attempt to escape from a terms-of-trade-driven Prisoners' Dilemma. Our review therefore offers support for the (politically-augmented) terms-of-trade theory as an appropriate framework within which to interpret and evaluate GATT.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8005.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8005.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8005
Note: ITI
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "A Theory of Gradual Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 4620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Winters, L. Alan, 1996. "Regionalism versus multilateralism," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1687, The World Bank.
  3. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
  4. Grossman, Gene & Maggi, Giovanni, 1998. "Free Trade Vs. Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," CEPR Discussion Papers 1784, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Paul Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-58.
  6. Chisik, Richard, 2003. "Gradualism in free trade agreements: a theoretical justification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 367-397, March.
  7. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 480-92, June.
  8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation during the Formation of Customs Unions," NBER Working Papers 4543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  10. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2000. "Strategic Trade, Competitive Industries and Agricultural Trade Disputes," NBER Working Papers 7822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
  12. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  13. Richard E. Caves, 1976. "Economic Models of Political Choice: Canada's Tariff Structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-300, May.
  14. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1999. "Multilateral trade negotiations, bilateral opportunism and the rules of GATT," Working papers 6, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra, 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C, 2001. "Economic and Legal Aspects of the Most Favoured Nation Clause," CEPR Discussion Papers 2859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Nuno Limão, 2002. "Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?," International Trade 0206002, EconWPA, revised 28 Jul 2002.
  18. Robert C. Feenstra & Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1982. "Tariff Seeking and the Efficient Tariff," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 245-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Spagnolo, G., 1999. "Issue Linkage, Delegation, and International Policy Cooperation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9913, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  20. Bagwell Kyle & Staiger Robert W., 2003. "Protection and the Business Cycle," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-45, September.
  21. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, And International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562, May.
  22. Gruenspecht, Howard K., 1988. "Dumping and dynamic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 225-248, November.
  23. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Michael Devereux, 1990. "Growth, Specialization, and Trade Liberalization," Working Papers 786, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  25. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  26. John Whalley, 1984. "Trade Liberalization among Major World Trading Areas," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262231204, June.
  27. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  28. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Reciprocity, Non-discrimination and Preferential Agreements in the Multilateral Trading System," NBER Working Papers 5932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Josh Ederington, 2001. "International Coordination of Trade and Domestic Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1580-1593, December.
  30. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "International Rules and Institutions for Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 4962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  33. Ostry, Sylvia, 1997. "The Post-Cold War Trading System," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226637907.
  34. Rodney D. Ludema, 1991. "International Trade Bargaining And The Most-Favored-Nation Clause," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, 03.
  35. Choi, J.P., 1992. "Optimal Tariffs and the Choice of Technology Discriminatory Tariffs vs. the "Most Favored Nation" Clause," Discussion Papers 1992_46, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  36. Dan Kovenock & Marie Thursby, 1992. "GATT, Dispute Settlement and Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 4071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1998. "The New Regionalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1149-61, July.
  38. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1990. "A Theory of Managed Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 779-95, September.
  39. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
  40. 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.
  41. Robert W. Staiger & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "Rules and Discretion in Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 2658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Freund, Caroline, 2000. "Multilateralism and the endogenous formation of preferential trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 359-376, December.
  43. Brown, D.K. & Dearorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1993. "International Labor Standards and Trade: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers 333, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  44. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1998. "Will Preferential Agreements Undermine the Multilateral Trading System?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1162-82, July.
  45. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  46. Carmichael, Calum M., 1987. "The control of export credit subsidies and its welfare consequences," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
  47. 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.
  48. McLaren, John, 1997. "Size, Sunk Costs, and Judge Bowker's Objection to Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 400-420, June.
  49. McCalman, Phillip, 2002. "Multi-lateral trade negotiations and the Most Favored Nation clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 151-176, June.
  50. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Greenaway, David & Panagariya, Arvind, 1998. "Trading Preferentially: Theory and Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1128-48, July.
  51. Collie, David R, 1997. "Bilateralism Is Good: Trade Blocs and Strategic Export Subsidies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 504-20, October.
  52. Bond, E.W. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inte-regional Cooperation," Papers 5-93-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  53. Furusawa, Taiji & Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1999. "Adjustment costs and gradual trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 333-361, December.
  54. Brainard, S Lael, 1994. "Last One Out Wins: Trade Policy in an International Exit Game," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 151-72, February.
  55. Lapan, Harvey E, 1988. "The Optimal Tariff, Production Lags, and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 395-401, June.
  56. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 1999. "Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 400-430, June.
  57. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
  58. bagwell, K. & Staiger, R.W., 1995. "Protection and Business cycle," Working papers 9511, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  59. Maskin, Eric S & Newbery, David M, 1990. "Disadvantageous Oil Tariffs and Dynamic Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 143-56, March.
  60. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  61. Fernandez, Raquel & Portes, Jonathan, 1998. "Returns to Regionalism: An Analysis of Nontraditional Gains from Regional Trade Agreements," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 197-220, May.
  62. Winters, L. Alan & Won Chang, 1997. "Regional integration and the prices of imports : an empirical investigation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1782, The World Bank.
  63. John McLaren, 2002. "A Theory Of Insidious Regionalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 571-608, May.
  64. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
  65. R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, 07.
  66. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
  67. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  68. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  69. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 5921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  70. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 2005. "Reciprocated unilateralism in trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 461-487, March.
  71. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 575.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.