Is the WTO Passé?

125 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2015

See all articles by Kyle Bagwell

Kyle Bagwell

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Chad P. Bown

Peterson Institute for International Economics

Robert W. Staiger

Stanford University; University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: June 2015

Abstract

The WTO has delivered policy outcomes that are very different from those likely to emerge out of the recent wave of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). Should economists see this as an efficient institutional hand-off, where the WTO has carried trade liberalization as far as it can manage, and is now passing the baton to PTAs to finish the job? We survey a growing economics literature on international trade agreements and argue on this basis that the WTO is not passé. Rather, and subject to some caveats, our survey of research to date suggests that the WTO warrants strong support while a more cautious view of PTAs seems appropriate.

Keywords: dispute settlement, preferential trade agreements, terms of trade, trade agreements, WTO

JEL Classification: F13, F14

Suggested Citation

Bagwell, Kyle and Bown, Chad P. and Staiger, Robert W., Is the WTO Passé? (June 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10672, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2621576

Kyle Bagwell (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Stanford, CA 94305-6072
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Chad P. Bown

Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Robert W. Staiger

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-2265 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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