Thinking About the Performance of the World Trade Organization: A Discussion Across Disciplines

30 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2016

See all articles by Manfred Elsig

Manfred Elsig

University of Bern

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Georgetown University Law Centre

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

International law, political science and economics scholars are all concerned with analyzing the performance of the WTO as an organization. In this paper we focus on the objectives that these different disciplines attribute to the WTO and how performance is assessed against these objectives. The literature in all three fields is vibrant, but the focus of each discipline is often on very different dimensions of WTO performance. While this implies significant complementarity across disciplines it also suggests potential opportunity costs in foregone synergies. Even when similar phenomena are the focus of analysis, different concepts, connotations and labels makes cross-disciplinary debate less efficient or prohibits it altogether. Greater effort to promote cross-fertilization across disciplines would enrich and strengthen research on the performance of the WTO.

Keywords: International cooperation, WTO, performance evaluation, multidisciplinary analysis

JEL Classification: F02; F13; F53

Suggested Citation

Elsig, Manfred and Hoekman, Bernard and Pauwelyn, Joost, Thinking About the Performance of the World Trade Organization: A Discussion Across Disciplines (February 2016). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2016/13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2732639 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2732639

Manfred Elsig (Contact Author)

University of Bern ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

Bernard Hoekman

Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

Fiesole, Tuscany
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Joost Pauwelyn

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, Geneva CH-1211
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://graduateinstitute.ch

Georgetown University Law Centre ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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