Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Is The Use Of The WTO Dispute Settlement System Biased?

Author(s): Henrik Horn, Petros C Mavroidis and Håkan Nordström

Publication Date: December 1999

Keyword(s): Dispute Settlement and WTO

Programme Area(s): International Trade and Regional Economics

Abstract: The larger trading nations have been the main users of the WTO Dispute Settlement system during its first four years of existence (1995-1998). This has prompted a debate about whether the DS system is biased against smaller and poorer countries, for example, because of a lack of legal capacities and retaliatory power. This paper shows that a simple model in which countries bring disputes proportionally to the diversity and value of exports explains fairly well the dispute pattern. Differences in legal capacities appear to play some role, while 'power' considerations do not seem to matter.

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Bibliographic Reference

Horn, H, Mavroidis, P and Nordström, H. 1999. 'Is The Use Of The WTO Dispute Settlement System Biased?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.