IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/uwo/uwowop/9909.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Economic Theory of the GATT: A Generalization

Author

Abstract

Bagwell and Staiger (1999) conclude that the reason for governments to enter trade negotiation is the terms-of-trade externality, which creates an inefficiency in unilateral trade policies. To address this conclusion, the authors consider that protection may be motivated by many other objectives than just unilateral attempts at terns-of-trade improvements, including the desire to: (1) increase incomes (or prevent trade-driven losses) in import- competing countries; (2) increase employment; (3) improve the balance of trade. It may or may not be sensible for countries to increase tariffs for any of these reasons, but they do. In each case, trade agreements may be appealing to governments as a way to prevent an inefficiency that arises from unilateral trade policies. The justification for the GATT is that it restrains unilateral protection, regardless of its political or economic motivation. Moreover, this conclusion holds even if each country has a different motive for protection.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Wonnacott & Ronald J. Wonnacott, 1999. "An Economic Theory of the GATT: A Generalization," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9909, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:9909
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/department_working_papers_docs/wp1999/wp9909.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
    2. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:9909. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/department_working_papers.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.