21st Century Trade Agreements and the Owl of Minerva

45 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Bernard Hoekman

Bernard Hoekman

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

Doug Nelson

Tulane University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

The post Second World War liberal trade order has been a driver of global economic growth and rising average per capita incomes. This order confronts increasing opposition, reflecting concerns about adjustment costs and distributional effects of globalization, and the ability to pursue national policy goals. At the same time the development of complex production relations distributed across many countries calls for cooperation on a variety of regulatory policies. Contrary to what is argued by opponents of globalization, this does not imply one size fits all rules that constitute a threat to national sovereignty and democratic legitimation. There remains an important 'traditional' integration agenda that centers on rule-making by major trading powers on policies that generate negative international spillovers. But the core challenge for the political economy of 21st Century trade agreements is to support regulatory cooperation to better govern international production and address the non-pecuniary externalities associated with greater economic integration.

Keywords: trade agreements; globalization; WTO; adjustment costs; economic integration; political economy

JEL Classification: F02, F13, F15, F60

Suggested Citation

Hoekman, Bernard and Nelson, Doug, 21st Century Trade Agreements and the Owl of Minerva (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12620, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106824

Bernard Hoekman (Contact Author)

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

Doug Nelson

Tulane University ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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