Call for Papers
International Trade Policy and Institutions
April 3-4, 2020

Stephen Redding (Princeton University and NBER) and Robert Staiger (Dartmouth College and NBER).

The conference aims to draw together researchers from industrial organization, international trade, political economy, public finance, and related fields to address a range of questions related to international trade policy. Potential topics for discussion at the conference include, but are not limited Following the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 and its successor the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, international trade has been governed by the combination of a multilateral rules-based system and preferential trade agreements negotiated within these multilateral rules. However, the nature of international trade today differs in important ways from that in the past, including in particular the rise of emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) and the development of global value chains (GVCs). Together with a growing awareness of the distributional consequences of international trade within countries, these developments pose important questions about the effects of international trade policies and the design of international trade institutions.

To promote research on these issues, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the support of the Smith Richardson Foundation, will convene a research conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 3-4, 2020. The conference will be organized by Stephen to:

•    How do tariff and non-tariff barriers affect the domestic economy?
•   What are the implications of global value chains for the design of regional trade agreements, including the role of rules of origin?
•    How does the choice between rules versus discretion for international institutions affect international trade outcomes?
•   What are the implications of unilateral, bilateral and multilateral approaches to trade policy for these international trade outcomes?
•    Is the basic architecture of the GATT/WTO effective in achieving its stated objectives, and how would alternative designs fare in achieving these goals?
•    How do trade policies interact with other public policies, such as environmental regulations?

Papers are welcomed on all aspects of international trade policies and the institutions that govern them. Both theoretical and empirical research, and combinations, are welcome. To be considered for inclusion on the program, papers must be uploaded by Tuesday, January 16, 2020, to the following site:

Submissions from authors with and without NBER affiliations are welcome and submissions from early career scholars, and from researchers from under-represented groups are especially welcome. Please do not submit papers that will be published by April 2020. Decisions about which papers will be included on the program will be announced in late January, 2020.

The NBER will cover the hotel and economy class travel cost for up to two authors per paper included on the program. All co-authors are welcome to attend the conference; space permitting, other participants are also welcome. Please direct questions about this project to

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