Publication:
The Role of Special Differential Treatment for Developing Countries in GATT and the World Trade Organization

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Files in English
English PDF (2.65 MB)
3,206 downloads
English Text (115.51 KB)
149 downloads
Date
2000-07
ISSN
Published
2000-07
Abstract
The author analyzes how changes in thinking about the role trade plays in economic development have been reflected in provisions affecting developing countries in the GATT and the WTO. He focuses on the provisions calling for the special and differential treatment of developing countries. The WTO's special, and differential treatment has been extended to include measures of technical assistance, and extended transition periods to enable countries to meet their commitments in new areas agreed on in the Uruguay round of negotiations. At the same time, many WTO provisions encourage industrial countries to give developing countries preferential treatment, through a variety of measures, none of them legally enforceable. The author concludes that weaknesses in the institutional capacity of many developing countries, provide a conceptual basis for continuing special, and differential treatment in the WTO, but that the benefits should be targeted only to low-income developing countries, and those that need help becoming integrated with the international trading system. In addition, an effective system of graduation, should be put in place for higher-income developing countries. Developing countries find it politically easier to argue, that all should be treated the same, except for least developed countries, although their capacities, and need for assistance differ vastly. Industrial countries are expected to provide special, and differential treatment, but in practice, their commitments on market access, preferential treatment, and technical assistance, are not enforceable. Leaving it up to the industrial countries to decide which developing countries get preferential treatment, invites extraneous considerations in determining who gets how much special treatment. Unless higher-income developing countries accept some type of graduated differentiation in their treatment (beyond that granted the least developed countries), there is little prospect of implementing meaningful, legally enforceable special, and differential treatment favoring all developing countries under the WTO.
Link to Data Set
Citation
Michalopoulos, Constantine. 2000. The Role of Special Differential Treatment for Developing Countries in GATT and the World Trade Organization. Policy Research Working Paper;No. 2388. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/19819 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Report Series
Report Series
Other publications in this report series
  • Publication
    Explaining Gender Differences in Economic Outcomes in Burkina Faso
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-20) Donald, Aletheia; Islam, TM Tonmoy; Robakowski, Anja
    Gender equality is central to economic development. This paper examines gender gaps in Burkina Faso and find that women’s labor force participation is 10 percentage points lower than men’s in 2019, while their wage earnings are 82 percent lower, business revenues are 61 percent lower, and value of agricultural production is 61 percent lower. Nationally, gender gaps in labor force participation, business revenues and crop sales are unchanged when compared to 2014 but increased significantly for wage earnings and (to a lesser extent) for harvest value. The gender gap in labor force participation increased in urban areas, while the northern part of Burkina Faso witnessed large increases in the business revenue gender gap. The wage gap increased most in more rural regions. Results from decomposition analysis show that women’s lack of capital and male workers, lack of control over income and lower economic benefits from marriage—along with lower levels of skills and farming inputs—have the largest associations with the gaps. The paper reviews evidence-based policy options for tackling the identified gaps for each sector, which include providing vocational skills to women, improving their access to capital, increasing the effectiveness of agricultural extension services and expanding the provision of childcare services and gender norms interventions.
  • Publication
    The Role of Financial (Mis)allocation on Real (Mis)allocation
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-20) Cusolito, Ana P.; Fattal-Jaef, Roberto N.; Mare, Davide S.; Singh, Akshat V,
    This paper leverages the novel methodology by Whited and Zhao (2021) to identify financial distortions and applies it to a sample of 24 European countries. The analyses reveal that less developed economies face more severe financial misallocation. Distortions in the allocation of financial resources raise the relative cost of finance for younger, smaller, and more productive firms. Counterfactual analysis indicates that alleviating financial distortions could boost aggregate productivity by approximately 30-70 percent. On average, 75 percent of these gains across countries result from better access to finance, with the remainder from optimizing the debt-to-equity ratio. The paper also quantifies the link between financial misallocation and real-input allocative inefficiency, showing that reducing financial misallocation from the median to the 25th percentile of the cross-industry distribution can increase aggregate productivity by an average of 5.2 percent. The effect is larger, at 6.4 percent, for industries heavily reliant on external finance.
  • Publication
    Women’s Labor Force Participation in Nepal
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-20) Alaref, Jumana; Patil, Aishwarya; Rahman, Tasmia; Munoz Boudet, Ana Maria; Rajbhandary , Jasmine
    Whether and the extent to which social norms matter for women’s labor force participation has been shown to vary by context. This paper presents rigorous evidence on how these relationships hold in the case of Nepal, where female labor force participation remains among the lowest in the world. Using a representative survey covering four provinces in Nepal, data were collected from 2,000 married Nepali women and men on their own beliefs about norms-related behaviors, their expectations of how common it is for others in their social group to engage in those behaviors, and the expected social consequences surrounding those behaviors. Overall, the study finds that personal beliefs and social expectations are generally not very restrictive among respondents, and that there are limited linkages between social norms and women’s work outcomes. However, the study also shows that norms matter for selected subgroups and under certain circumstances that are related to the woman’s role as a mother and in the household as well as to her job characteristics. The findings indicate that relaxing norms in those specific circumstances can help to promote women’s labor force participation in Nepal.
  • Publication
    Disaster Risk Preparedness of Households in the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-18) Anglade, Boaz; Cucagna, Emilia; de Hoop, Jacobus; Paffhausen, Anna Luisa
    Preparing for—and responding to—disasters requires a people-centered approach and a strong understanding of households’ ability to cope with shocks. Relying on novel household survey data, this paper examines the ability of households in the Caribbean to cope with disasters caused by natural hazards. The analysis sheds light on disaster preparedness in five “data deprived” countries: Belize, Dominica, Haiti, Saint Lucia, and Suriname. The analysis points to a clear income gradient in possession of emergency supplies needed to cope with disasters. This gradient can be observed at both the country and household levels. In contrast, no such income gradient is observed for other key elements of preparation for disasters: community disaster management systems and discussion of risk mitigation strategies within households (both of which are common in the Caribbean hurricane belt). There is substantial variation in preparedness to cope with disasters across sociodemographic groups, as households with less educated heads, with children, and residing in rural areas are generally less able to handle disasters. All in all, a large share of households in all five countries indicates that they are not prepared to cope with a natural disaster. The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on disaster risk preparedness, primarily due to households’ deteriorating financial circumstances.
  • Publication
    The Influence of COVID-19 on Young Women’s Labor Market Aspirations and Expectations in India
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-18) Anukriti, S; Herrera-Almanza, Catalina; Ochmann, Sophie
    Youth unemployment and gender gaps in labor market outcomes are key policy challenges across developing countries. Young job-seekers may struggle to find jobs because of their biased beliefs and unrealistic aspirations about the labor market. This study examines whether exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the labor market aspirations and expectations of female vocational students in Haryana, India. Exposure to the pandemic lowered young women’s wage aspirations and made them more realistic, especially in rural areas. A potential mechanism for these effects was the decline in rural women’s willingness to migrate for work due to the pandemic.
Journal
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Associated URLs
Associated content
Citations