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21st Century Trade Agreements and the Owl of Minerva

Bernard Hoekman () and Doug Nelson

No 12620, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: The post Second World War liberal trade order has been a driver of global economic growth and rising average per capita incomes. This order confronts increasing opposition, reflecting concerns about adjustment costs and distributional effects of globalization, and the ability to pursue national policy goals. At the same time the development of complex production relations distributed across many countries calls for cooperation on a variety of regulatory policies. Contrary to what is argued by opponents of globalization, this does not imply one size fits all rules that constitute a threat to national sovereignty and democratic legitimation. There remains an important 'traditional' integration agenda that centers on rule-making by major trading powers on policies that generate negative international spillovers. But the core challenge for the political economy of 21st Century trade agreements is to support regulatory cooperation to better govern international production and address the non-pecuniary externalities associated with greater economic integration.

Keywords: adjustment costs; economic integration; Globalization; political economy; Trade agreements; WTO (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F02 F13 F15 F60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int
Date: 2018-01
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