The GATT/WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment of Developing Countries

Special and differential treatment (SDT) is effectively a set of exemptions from MFN extended to developing country members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/World Trade Organization (WTO).[1]  (MFN (most favored nation) treatment is the principle that any terms agreed between two parties to a trade agreement will automatically be extended to all others, and is a central pillar of the GATT/WTO).  SDT has two components: an access component, whereby developing countries are granted access to developed country markets, and a ‘right to protect’ component, whereby they do not have to reciprocate market access concessions that the developed countries make.  The intellectual underpinnings of SDT were: (i) that under the Gold Standard poor countries would tend to suffer from balance of payments problems that could be remedied through protection; (ii) the Prebisch-Singer thesis that developing countries would face secular decline in their terms of trade, which could be remedied by preferential access to developed country markets; and (iii) by the logic of infant industry protection, whereby fledgling industries need an initial period of protection to grow in a secure domestic market, before eventually competing abroad.  Ironically, there was no SDT during the 1950s-60s when the research community was broadly sympathetic to the idea that development can benefit from protectionism.  SDT measures were formally adopted mainly in the Tokyo Round that took place in the 1970s, right around the time that the research community was beginning to argue that development should be supported by outward-looking trade regimes to enhance economic efficiency.… read more ...

Opening: Senior Researcher Position – Irstea, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Irstea (National Research Institute in Science and Technology for Agriculture and the Environment) is seeking a senior researcher in economics to play a leading role in academic and applied research developed in UMR (Research Unit) Territoires which comes from joining CERAMAC (: and UMR Métafort ( in Clermont-Ferrand, France.… read more ...

Call for Papers: 2nd International Conference on Political Economy of Democracy and Dictatorship

Date and Location

15 – 17 March, 2018

University of Münster, Germany


Keynote Speakers

Timur Kuran, Duke University

Uwe Sunde, LMU Munich


Conference Description

The conference addresses the origin and prospects of democracy and dictatorship, policy control and governance structures in comparative political systems and transition processes from dictatorship to democracy and vice versa.… read more ...

8th Bolivian Conference on Development Economics

The 8th Bolivian Conference on Development Economics (BCDE8) will take place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on Thursday October 26 and Friday October 27, 2017. The conference is jointly organized by the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), the Society of Bolivian Economists (SEBOL), Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), and the Bolivian Academy of Economic Science (ABCE).

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