Is the WTO Passe?

125 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016 Last revised: 27 Apr 2018

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)

Date Written: June 12, 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? This paper surveys a growing economics literature on international trade agreements and argues on this basis that the WTO is not pass?. Rather, and subject to some caveats, this survey of research to date suggests that the WTO warrants strong support while a more cautious view of PTAs seems appropriate.

Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Settlement of Investment Disputes, Trade Policy, Rules of Origin, Trade and Multilateral Issues, Competitiveness and Competition Policy, Competition Policy

Suggested Citation

Bagwell, Kyle and Bown, Chad P. and Staiger, Robert W., Is the WTO Passe? (June 12, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7304. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2618915

Kyle Bagwell (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

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)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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