New publications from OECD, late October 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

New statistical publications from OECD, late October 2018

New OECD publications have been uploaded to the OECD iLibrary, a comprehensive digital repository of books, papers, and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Titles recently added include:

These volumes and more are accessible from the OECD iLibrary by WTO staff and WTO Library patrons.

Trade and Development Report 2018: Power, Platforms and the Free Trade Delusion

UNCTAD has launched the 2018 edition of the annual Trade and Development Report. Subtitled “Power, Platforms and the Free Trade Delusion”, the report examines asymmetric distribution of wealth, power, and influence.

A description of the report from the press release presents a summary of the topics discussed critically in this edition:

“While the public sector in advanced economies has been obliged to borrow more since the crisis, it is the rapid growth of private indebtedness, particularly in the corporate sector, which needs to be monitored closely; this has, in the past, been a harbinger of crisis.  The growing indebtedness observed globally is closely linked to rising inequality. The two have been connected by the growing weight and influence of financial markets, a defining feature of hyperglobalization. Banks becoming too big to fail came to epitomize the reckless neglect of regulators prior to the crisis. But the ability of financial institutions to rig markets has survived the early rush of reform in the aftermath of the crisis and efforts are underway to push back even on the limited regulations that have been put in place.  Asymmetric power is not unique to financial markets; the global trade landscape is also dominated by big players. The ability of lead firms in global production networks to capture more of the value added has led to unequal trading relations even as developing countries have deepened their participation in global trade.  The digital world has bucked the gloomier post-crisis trend and is opening up new growth opportunities for developing countries. But the worrying spirit of monopoly risks distorting outcomes. Getting to grips with the policy and regulatory challenges this poses must be an integral part of rebalancing the global economy.  All these old and new pressures are weighing down on multilateralism. In our interdependent world, inward looking solutions do not offer a way forward; the challenge is to find ways to make multilateralism work for all and for the health of the planet. There is much to be done.”

The full report is available for download, in its entirety or by chapter, from the UNCTAD website:

A Closer Look At WTO’s Third Pillar: How WTO Committees Influence Regional Trade Agreements by Devin McDaniels , Ana Cristina Molina & Erik N. Wijkström.

This paper illustrates how the work of World Trade Organization’s (WTO) standing bodies—its ‘Third Pillar’, as we will call it—is inspiring parties in regional trade agreements (RTA) negotiations and contributing to deeper integration. We focus on the work of the WTO technical barriers to trade (TBT) Committee and explore, as a case study, the extent to which the Committee’s decision on principles for development of international standards (the Six Principles) has shaped provisions in RTAs. This Decision, arguably the most important decision taken by the TBT Committee, is meant to clarify which international standards may be a relevant basis for TBT measures; an issue that has been left undefined under the WTO TBT Agreement. Our analysis covers 260 RTAs, and shows that one quarter of RTAs has sharpened and hardened the Committee’s decision by making it directly applicable to Parties (in RTAs) whereas under the WTO they are ‘merely’ recommendations. A small number of RTAs follow a different approach and explicitly name the sources of relevant international standards.


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William Nordhaus and Paul Romer awarded Nobel Prize for economics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics to American economists William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, in recognition of their bodies of research in integrating into economic analysis consideration of issues of climate change and technological innovation.

“William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer have designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth,” writes the press release from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. “At its heart, economics deals with the management of scarce resources. … This year’s Laureates… have significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge.”

Nordhaus, currently Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, is best known and was recognized for his work on economic modeling and climate change, specifically “for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.”

Romer, formerly Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank and professor of economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University, was recognized specifically “for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis.”

More information on the 2018 award decision can be found in the press release here:

For works by Nordhaus or Romer in the WTO Library’s collection, check out the Library catalogue or follow one of these links works by these two economists:


Elgar encyclopedia of international economic law

Author Thomas Cottier, Professor Emeritus, World Trade Institute

4 October 2018

The definitive reference work on international economic law. This comprehensive resource helps redefine the field by presenting international economic law in its broadest, real-world context.

Organized thematically, the subject is split into four principal sections: the foundations and architecture of international economic law, its principles, its main regulatory areas, and the future challenges that it faces. Comprising over 250 entries written by leading scholars and practitioners, traditional international economic law subject matter is supplemented by coverage of newly developing areas. Thus, the concepts and rules of trade, investment, finance and international tax law are found alongside entries discussing the relationship of international economic law with environmental protection, social standards, development, and human rights.

This Encyclopedia is an invaluable resource for both practitioners and academics. It acts as a handy reference to all areas of international economic law, and provides the ideal starting point for any research journey.

Coauthor Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer, Co-Head of Legal Services, Swiss Institute of Comparative Law; Senior Fellow, World Trade Institute
Moderator Andrea Mastromatteo, Counsellor of the Rules Division of the WTO Secretariat
Library catalog