Discussion paper

DP17706 Pursuing Environmental and Social Objectives through Trade Agreements

Using a large dataset covering more than 180 countries and spanning several decades, we employ a SDID estimator to identify the extent to which trade agreements incorporating non-trade provisions (labor standards, environmental protection and civil and political rights) are associated with improvements in corresponding non-trade per- formance indicators. We distinguish between binding (enforceable) and non-binding pro- visions in trade agreements, and also control for the allocation of official development assistance targeting these three non-trade policy areas. Overall, the results suggest that efforts made to date to include non-trade provisions in trade agreements have not resulted in consistent desired (better) non-trade outcomes.


Francois, J, B Hoekman, M Manchin and F Santi (2022), ‘DP17706 Pursuing Environmental and Social Objectives through Trade Agreements‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17706. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17706