Robert W. Staiger

Robert W. Staiger is Roth Family Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • A World Trading System for the Twenty-First Century

    Robert W. Staiger

    When designing a world trading system for the twenty-first century, “Keep calm and carry on” beats “Move fast and break things.”

    Global trade is in trouble. Climate change, digital trade, offshoring, the rise of emerging markets led by China: Can the World Trade Organization (WTO), built for trade in the twentieth century, meet the challenges of the twenty-first? The answer is yes, Robert Staiger tells us, arguing that adapting the WTO to the changed economic environment would serve the world better than a radical reset.

    Governed by the WTO, on the principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), global trade rules traditionally focus on “shallow integration”—with an emphasis on reducing tariffs and trade impediments at the border—rather than “deep integration,” or direct negotiations over behind-the-border measures. Staiger charts the economic environment that gave rise to the former approach, explains when and why it worked, and surveys the changing landscape for global trade. In his analysis, the terms-of-trade theory of trade agreements provides a compelling framework for understanding the success of GATT in the twentieth century. And according to this understanding, Staiger concludes, the logic of GATT's design transcends many, if not all, of the current challenges faced by the WTO.

    With its penetrating view of the evolving global economic environment, A World Trading System for the Twenty-First Century shows us a global trading system in need of reform, and Staiger makes a persuasive case for using the architecture of the GATT/WTO as a basis for that reform.

    • Hardcover $55.00
  • The Economics of the World Trading System

    The Economics of the World Trading System

    Kyle Bagwell and Robert W. Staiger

    World trade is governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO sets rules of conduct for the international trade of goods and services and for intellectual property rights, provides a forum for multinational negotiations to resolve trade problems, and has a formal mechanism for dispute settlement. It is the primary institution working, through rule-based bargaining, at freeing trade.

    In this book, Kyle Bagwell and Robert Staiger provide an economic analysis and justification for the purpose and design of the GATT/WTO. They summarize their own research, discuss the major features of the GATT agreement, and survey the literature on trade agreements. Their focus on the terms-of-trade externality is particularly original and ties the book together. Topics include the theory of trade agreements, the origin and design of the GATT and the WTO, the principles of reciprocity, the most favored nation principle, terms-of-trade theory, enforcement, preferential trade agreements, labor and environmental standards, competition policy, and agricultural export subsidies.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $30.00


  • The WTO and Economic Development

    The WTO and Economic Development

    Ben Zissimos

    Economists offer rigorous quantitative analyses of how the institutional design and purpose of the WTO (and its progenitor, the GATT) affect economic development.

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established partly to support economic development in developing countries through international trade. This goal has been elusive, with some questioning the WTO's ability to achieve such a goal. In this volume, leading scholars in the economics of international trade offer rigorous quantitative analyses of how the institutional design and purpose of the WTO (and its progenitor, the GATT) affect economic development.

    The volume begins with analyses of market access concessions that have been or could be exchanged between developing and developed countries, from a formal framework for incorporating non-tariff measures into a model for analyzing a multilateral trade agreement to an examination of the MFN (most-favored nation) free rider problem. Contributors then develop new theoretical and econometric approaches for understanding key aspects of trade liberalization under the GATT/WTO that are of particular relevance to economic development, considering such topics as achieving cooperation in eliminating prohibitive trade barriers and the effect of China's export subsidies on its dramatic growth in exports. Finally, the book considers two significant new issues that arose from the Uruguay round, from which the WTO was formed: the TRIPS agreement, regulating intellectual property; and the resolution of trade disputes with and without litigation. Taken together, these analyses shed new light on the relationship between trade liberalization and economic development as well as the WTO's effectiveness.

    • Hardcover $60.00