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The economics of special and differential trade regimes

By Paola Conconi and Carlo Perroni


We examine the theoretical rationale for the granting of temporary Special and Differential (S&D) treatment to developing countries, both in its protection and market-access components under the WTO agreements. S&D rules constitute the centerpiece of the WTO's strategy for integrating developing countries into the trading system, but have been criticized--both on theoretical and empirical grounds--as being ineffective. We show that seemingly non-reciprocal, limited-duration S&D treatment can be rationalized as a transitional equilibrium feature of a self-enforcing international agreement between a large developed and a small developing country, where the two sides have a joint interest in helping the developing country to overcome a policy commitment problem

Topics: HF, JZ
Publisher: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

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