Skip to content Skip to navigation

Multilateral Trade Bargaining: A First Look at the GATT Bargaining Records

Aug 2015
Working Paper
15-028
By  Kyle Bagwell, Robert Staiger, Ali Yurukoglu
This paper empirically examines recently declassified data from the GATT/WTO on tariff bargaining. We document eight stylized facts about these interconnected high-stakes international negotiations. We use detailed product-level offer and counteroffer data to examine several questions about trade policy, including whether preferential tariffs were a stumbling block towards liberalization, and whether the relaxation of bilateral reciprocity to multilateral reciprocity aided liberalization. We organize the empirical analysis around a theoretical model of multi-party trade negotiations motivated by the terms-of-trade theory and respecting the institutional features of most-favored-nation status and reciprocity.