American Economic Review: Vol. 94 No. 1 (March 2004)
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Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?
Rose, AndrewK. 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?" American Economic Review, 94(1): 98-114.
This paper estimates the effect on international trade of multilateral trade agreements - the World Trade Organization (WTO), its predecessor the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) extended from rich countries to developing countries. I use a standard "gravity" model of bilateral merchandise trade and a large panel data set covering over 50 years and 175 countries. An extensive search reveals little evidence that countries joining or belonging to the GATT/WTO have different trade patterns from outsiders, though the GSP seems to have a strong effect.
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Rose, Andrew K.