Working Paper No. 730

Trading Profiles and Developing Country Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement System

Published: January 31, 2008Pages: 72Keywords: WTO; Dispute Settlement; Developing Countries; Dispute InitiationJEL-codes: F13; F53; O19

Trading Profiles and Developing Country Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement System Joseph Francois, Henrik Horn and Niklas Kaunitz


It has been alleged since its inception that the WTO Dispute Settlement (DS) mechanism is biased against developing countries, as manifested in e.g. allegedly too low rates of dispute initiation. To shed light on this issue, this study analyses the determinants of developing country participation in the DS system, using bilateral industry-level trade data, and a data set on dispute initiation that is significantly richer than what has been employed in the literature. But the study also points to a number of fundamental conceptual and data problems that beset the whole empirical literature that seeks to draw policy conclusions based on country participation in the DS system. While perhaps appreciated by researchers working in this area, these problems appear to go unnoticed by practitioners drawing on this literature.

 

Henrik Horn

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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