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The Value of Making Commitments Externally: Evidence from WTO Accessions


Man-Keung Tang


International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Shang-Jin Wei


Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); International Monetary Fund (IMF); Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

April 30, 2009

HKIMR Working Paper No.15/2009

Abstract:     
This paper studies the value of external commitment to policy reforms in the case of WTO/GATT accessions. The accessions often entail reforms that go beyond narrowly defined trade liberalization, and have to overcome fierce resistance in the acceding countries, as reflected in protracted negotiations. We study the growth and investment consequences of WTO/GATT accessions, with attention to a possible selection bias. We find that the accessions tend to raise income, but only for those countries that were subject to rigorous accession procedures. Policy commitments associated with the accessions were helpful, especially for countries with poor governance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Trade, Growth, Economic Reforms

JEL Classification: F1

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Date posted: June 1, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Tang, Man-Keung and Wei, Shang-Jin, The Value of Making Commitments Externally: Evidence from WTO Accessions (April 30, 2009). HKIMR Working Paper No.15/2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1412643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1412643

Contact Information

Man-Keung Tang
International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )
700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States
Shang-Jin Wei (Contact Author)
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States
Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management
Beijing, 100084
China
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