Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros Mavroidis, Douglas Nelson, Robert Wolfe, 09 July 2020

The WTO membership faces many challenges, ranging from substantive rulemaking on policies generating trade conflicts to revitalising the multilateral dispute settlement system. This column reports on the results of a recent survey of the trade community regarding the priorities confronting the next WTO Director-General. There is a substantial degree of commonality in rank orderings of substantive issues for negotiation, institutional reform, and daily operations of the WTO, but underlying this are significant differences in rankings of issues and options across groups of respondents. Resolving the dispute settlement crisis is a clear priority for most respondents, especially government officials. 

Matteo Fiorini, Bernard Hoekman, Petros Mavroidis, Maarja Saluste, Robert Wolfe, 20 November 2019

The WTO dispute settlement system is in crisis, endangering the future of the organisation. The proximate reason for alarm is the dwindling number of Appellate Body members, the result of the US blocking new appointments as the terms of sitting members expire. The crisis usually is presented as the US against the world. This column reports on the results of a recent survey of WTO Members’ perceptions of the Appellate Body and the role it plays (or should play). Responses reveal strong support for the basic design of the dispute settlement system, but also that the US is not alone in perceiving that the Body has gone beyond its mandate.

Marion Jansen, Joost Pauwelyn, Theresa Carpenter, 31 January 2018

International economic dispute settlement is under increased scrutiny. How are decisions made about the ‘fairness’ of national or foreign policies? How are damages to be paid by governments to private investors calculated? This column introduces a book with contributions from academics and practitioners that explore whether economists can be of use in addressing these and other contentious questions in international trade and investor–state disputes.

Simon Evenett, Alejandro Jara, 09 December 2014

The WTO’s dispute settlement procedure was set up to help governments challenge policies that contravene WTO agreements. This column argues that two recent cases show that cases can be settled without resolving the problem and sometimes at the expense of other trading partners. This is an abuse of the system and a step backwards for the world trading system.

Chad Bown, Kara Reynolds, 10 August 2014

WTO dispute settlement is well-known for its high-profile cases – e.g., US-EU clashes over bananas, hormone-treated beef, genetically modified organisms, subsidies to Boeing and Airbus, etc. – some of which cover annual trade in the billions of dollars. Are the trade stakes from such disputes representative of the WTO caseload? This column presents evidence from a newly available data set and reveals some surprising facts about the prevalence of both large and small WTO disputes.


The fourth Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development will take place from June 28 to July 9, 2010 in Geneva. It will provide participants with a unique opportunity to enter into the analysis and atmosphere of multilateral trade. The programme, delivered with the Graduate Institute Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, combines economic, legal and political analysis of international trade and development.

Lectures and discussions will shed light on the following questions: the reasons why countries open their economies to trade and the reasons why they protect domestic industries, the means and pathways they use to either open or protect, what these considerations mean for the multilateral trading system and their implications for economic development.

Target Audience:
- Professionals keen to improve their knowledge on current major issues in international trade
- Students at MA level

Deadline for Applications
April 1, 2010

Mark Schankerman, Alberto Galasso, 31 August 2008

The 'market for innovation' - the licensing and sale of patents - is one of the principal incentives for firms to invest in R&D. In CEPR DP 6946, Galasso and Schankerman set out to examine the impact that US developments have had on market efficiency, by studying the length of patent infringement disputes and find that the US system has performed surprisingly well in recent decades.


Presentation and discussion of multidisciplinary research on the calculation and design of trade sanctions in WTO dispute settlement procedures. Features sessions on
Damage calculation in context: What is the goal of WTO remedies?
Lessons and questions from a legal perspective
Lessons and questions from an economic perspective
The politics of selecting and implementing trade sanctions – EC and Developing country perspectives
Improvements and new approaches from a legal , an institutional and an economic perspective
An alternative to trade flows: calculating expectation damages
Lessons from investor-state arbitration

Vox eBooks


CEPR Policy Research