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On the effects of GATT/WTO membership on trade: They are positive and large after all

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  • Larch, Mario
  • Monteiro, José-Antonio
  • Piermartini, Roberta
  • Yotov, Yoto V.

Abstract

We capitalize on the latest developments in the empirical structural gravity literature to revisit the question of whether and how much does GATT/WTO membership affect international trade. We are the first to capture the non-discriminatory nature of GATT/WTO commitments by measuring the effects of GATT/WTO membership on international trade relative to domestic sales. These unilateral effects of GATT/WTO membership are found to be large, positive, and statistically significant. We also obtain bilateral GATT/WTO estimates, which are larger than those reported in the literature. In particular, our results imply that, on average, joining GATT and/or WTO has increased trade between members by 171% and trade between member and non-member countries by about 88%. We also find that although both GATT/WTO has been effective in promoting trade between members, the WTO has been more effective in promoting trade with non-members than GATT. A battery of sensitivity experiments confirms the effectiveness of our methods and robustness of our main findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Larch, Mario & Monteiro, José-Antonio & Piermartini, Roberta & Yotov, Yoto V., 2019. "On the effects of GATT/WTO membership on trade: They are positive and large after all," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2019-09, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201909
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Natalia Ramondo & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare & Milagro Saborío-Rodríguez, 2016. "Trade, Domestic Frictions, and Scale Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3159-3184, October.
    2. Mario Larch & Joschka Wanner & Yoto V. Yotov & Thomas Zylkin, 2017. "The Currency Union Effect: A PPML Re-assessment with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," CESifo Working Paper Series 6464, CESifo.
    3. Roy, Jayjit, 2011. "Is the WTO mystery really solved?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 127-130.
    4. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
    5. Mario Larch & Joschka Wanner & Yoto V. Yotov & Thomas Zylkin, 2019. "Currency Unions and Trade: A PPML Re‐assessment with High‐dimensional Fixed Effects," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 81(3), pages 487-510, June.
    6. Juyoung Cheong & Do Won Kwak & Kam Ki Tang, 2014. "The WTO puzzle, multilateral resistance terms and multicollinearity," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(13), pages 928-933, September.
    7. Dai, Mian & Yotov, Yoto & Zylkin, Thomas, 2013. "On the Trade-diversion Effects of Free Trade Agreements," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2013-3, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, revised 15 Sep 2014.
    8. Baier, Scott L. & Yotov, Yoto V. & Zylkin, Thomas, 2019. "On the widely differing effects of free trade agreements: Lessons from twenty years of trade integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 206-226.
    9. Delina E. Agnosteva & James E. Anderson & Yoto V. Yotov, 2014. "Intra-national Trade Costs: Measurement and Aggregation," NBER Working Papers 19872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Emanuel Ornelas & Marcos Ritel, 2020. "The not‐so‐generalised effects of the Generalized System of Preferences," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(7), pages 1809-1840, July.
    3. Brotto, André & Jakubik, Adam & Piermartini, Roberta, 2021. "WTO accession and growth: Tang and Wei Redux," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2021-1, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    4. Tamara Gurevitch & Peter R. Herman & Farid Toubal & Yoto Yotov, 2020. "One Nation, One Language? Domestic Language Diversity, Trade and Welfare," Working Papers 2020-15, CEPII research center.
    5. Rodolfo G. Campos & Jacopo Timini & Elena Vidal, 2021. "Structural gravity and trade agreements: does the measurement of domestic trade matter?," Working Papers 2117, Banco de España.
    6. Barlow, P. & Stuckler, D., 2021. "Globalization and health policy space: Introducing the WTOhealth dataset of trade challenges to national health regulations at World Trade Organization, 1995–2016," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).
    7. Liam Pippinato & Simone Blanc & Teresina Mancuso & Filippo Brun, 2020. "A Sustainable Niche Market: How Does Honey Behave?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-14, December.
    8. Jung, Benjamin, 2020. "The heterogeneous effects of China's accession to the world trade organization," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 10-2020, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GATT/WTO; International Trade; Domestic Sales; Structural Gravity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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