The WTO: Theory and Practice
We consider the purpose and design of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, GATT. We review recent developments in the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. And we describe the GATT/WTO architecture and briefly trace its historical antecedents. We suggest that the existing literature provides a useful framework for understanding and interpreting central features of the design and practice of the GATT/WTO, and we identify key unresolved issues.
We thank our reviewer, Peter Neary, for very helpful comments. Parts of this Review draw heavily from an earlier review article (Bagwell and Staiger, 2002a) and on excerpts from Chapter 7, pp. 205-234, "Economic Theory and the Interpretation of GATT/WTO" by Kyle Bagwell and Robert W. Staiger in New Frontiers in Economics, edited by Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan Copyright © 2004 Cambridge University Press. Reprinted with permission. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.