Trading Profiles and Developing Country Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement System

73 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2010

See all articles by Joseph F. Francois

Joseph F. Francois

University of Bern - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies (WIIW); University of Adelaide - School of Economics

Henrik Horn

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bruegel

Niklas Kaunitz

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

It has been alleged since its inception that the WTO Dispute Settlement (DS) mechanism is biased against developing countries, as manifested in e.g. allegedly too low rates of dispute initiation. To shed light on this issue, this study analyses the determinants of developing country participation in the DS system, using bilateral industry-level trade data, and a data set on dispute initiation that is significantly richer than what has been employed in the literature. But the study also points to a number of fundamental conceptual and data problems that beset the whole empirical literature that seeks to draw policy conclusions based on country participation in the DS system. While perhaps appreciated by researchers working in this area, these problems appear to go unnoticed by practitioners drawing on this literature.

Keywords: WTO, dispute settlement, developing countries, dispute initiation

JEL Classification: F13, F53, O19

Suggested Citation

Francois, Joseph F and Horn, Henrik and Kaunitz, Niklas, Trading Profiles and Developing Country Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement System (October 1, 2007). IFN Working Paper No. 730. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1534766

Joseph F Francois

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Schanzeneckstrasse 1
Bern, CH-3001
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies (WIIW) ( email )

Oppolzergasse 6
A-1010 Vienna
Austria

University of Adelaide - School of Economics ( email )

Adelaide SA, 5005
Australia
+61 8 8303 5540 (Phone)
+61 8 8223 1460 (Fax)

Henrik Horn (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ-law.se

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ-law.se

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
B-1210 Brussels Belgium
Belgium

Niklas Kaunitz

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden

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