DP15425 Informing WTO Reform: Dispute Settlement Performance, 1995-2020

Author(s): Bernard Hoekman, Petros C Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste
Publication Date: November 2020
Keyword(s): Appellate Body, Conflict resolution, panels, Trade disputes, WTO
JEL(s): F13, F51, K40
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15425

This paper presents salient facts on the performance of WTO dispute settlement, using an updated dataset on cases adjudicated between 1992 and mid 2020. The dataset provides a comprehensive compilation of information on WTO disputes, including complainants, respondents and third parties; the substantive matters tabled; the WTO provisions invoked; the claims that are accepted or rejected by adjudicating bodies; the time involved to complete the consultation, panel and appeal (Appellate Body) stages; and the identity of panelists and how they were appointed. We highlight elements of the operation of the system that are salient to WTO reform discussions, while drawing attention to the richness of the dataset by highlighting stylized facts in the hope others will use the data to investigate specific research questions and hypotheses.