Contributions of the GATT/WTO to Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence

37 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2016

See all articles by Kym Anderson

Kym Anderson

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Australian National University

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

This paper surveys estimates of the value of the GATT/WTO's contributions to global welfare through providing a forum for negotiating reductions in policy‐induced distortions to trade flows, including through the process of accession by new members. After reviewing measures of the price‐distorting effects of trade‐related policies, it assesses estimates from global simulation models of the welfare effects of trade liberalizations prior to the WTO's Doha round, including the net benefits and transfers associated with implementing the Uruguay Round agreement on trade‐related intellectual property rights, and then reviews estimates of the potential welfare effects of a Doha round agreement to cut tariffs and subsidies. Econometric estimates of past trade and related effects of the GATT/WTO are then examined, before turning to estimates of the benefits of WTO accession and of potential benefits from WTO‐sponsored trade facilitation. The paper concludes that while it remains difficult to attribute reforms directly to the GATT/WTO, the overall body of evidence presented supports the economic profession's consensus that this institution has contributed substantially to global economic welfare.

Keywords: Global economy‐wide modelling, Rules‐based multilateral trading system, Trade liberalization, Uruguay Round agreements

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym, Contributions of the GATT/WTO to Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence (February 2016). Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp. 56-92, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joes.12087

Kym Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) ( email )

School of Economics
Adelaide SA 5005
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)
+61 8 8223 1460 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Australian National University ( email )

Arndt-Corden Dept of Economics
Coombs Building
Canberra, AK ACT 2600
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://publicpolicy.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/kanderson.php

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