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Potential economic effects of a global trade conflict: Projecting the medium-run effects with the WTO global trade model

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  • Bekkers, Eddy
  • Teh, Robert

Abstract

The WTO Global Trade Model is employed to project the medium-run economic effects of a global trade conflict. The trade conflict scenario is based on recent estimates in the literature of the difference between cooperative and non-cooperative tariffs. The study provides three main insights. First, the projected macroeconomic effects in the medium run are considerable. A global trade conflict started in 2019 would lead to a reduction in global GDP in 2022 of about 1.96% and a reduction in global trade of about 17% compared to the baseline. For context global GDP fell about 2.1% and global trade 12.4% in the global financial crisis of 2009. Second, behind the single-digit aggregate production effects there are much larger, double-digit sectoral production effects in many countries, leading to a painful adjustment process. In general, a global trade conflict leads to a reallocation of resources away from the most efficient allocation based on comparative advantage. Third, the large swings in sectoral production lead to substantial labour displacement. On average 1.15% and 1.74% of high-skilled and low-skilled workers respectively would leave their initial sector of employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Bekkers, Eddy & Teh, Robert, 2019. "Potential economic effects of a global trade conflict: Projecting the medium-run effects with the WTO global trade model," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2019-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201904
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rasa Stasiukynaite, 2019. "Reordering international trade: what will it cost?," Bank of Lithuania Occasional Paper Series 27, Bank of Lithuania.
    2. Koopman, Robert & Hancock, John & Piermartini, Roberta & Bekkers, Eddy, 2020. "The Value of the WTO," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 829-849.
    3. Lionel Fontagné & Cecilia Bellora, 2019. "Shooting oneself in the foot? US trade policy coping with Global Value Chains," Post-Print hal-02128135, HAL.
    4. Afontsev, S., 2020. "Politics and economics of trade wars," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 193-198.
    5. Bekkers, Eddy & Schroeter, Sofia, 2020. "An economic analysis of the US-China trade conflict," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2020-04, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    6. Jungran Cho & Emma Kyoungseo Hong & Jeongho Yoo & Inkyo Cheong, 2020. "The Impact of Global Protectionism on Port Logistics Demand," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(4), pages 1-17, February.
    7. Bekkers, Eddy & Francois, Joseph & Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo, 2019. "Trade Wars: Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition," Papers 1234, World Trade Institute.
    8. Cecilia Bellora & Lionel Fontagné, 2019. "Shooting Oneself in the Foot? Trade War and Global Value Chains," Working Papers 2019-18, CEPII research center.
    9. Agnieszka Hajdukiewicz & Bożena Pera, 2020. "International Trade Disputes over Renewable Energy—the Case of the Solar Photovoltaic Sector," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(2), pages 1-23, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    computable general equilibrium (CGE) model; Nash tariffs; revealed comparative advantage (RCA); labour displacement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations

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