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Do WTO Members have More Liberal Trade Policy?

  • Andrew K. Rose

This paper uses 68 measures of trade policy and trade liberalization to ask if membership in theWorld Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is associated with more liberal trade policy. Almost no measures of trade policy are significantly correlated with GATT/WTO membership. Trade liberalizations, when they occur, usually lag GATT entry by many years, and the GATT/WTO often admits countries that are closed and remain closed for years. The exception to the negative rule is that WTO members tend to have slightly more freedom as judged by the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9347.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9347
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  1. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert J Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2003. "IMF Programs: Who Is Chosen and What Are the Effects?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
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  18. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
  19. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
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