The structural reform implications of WTO accession

This chapter looks at the relationship between the WTO accession process and structural reforms in developing countries. It finds that developing economies that are in the process of acceding to the WTO commit to more policy reforms (proxied by prior actions in the context of the World Bank’s development policy lending) than developing countries that are already members of the WTO or that have not applied to become members. It also finds that, for almost all developing economies acceding to the WTO, the country risk, measured by a composite indicator of political, financial and economic risk called the International Country Risk Guide, and the policy and institutional indicator, measured by the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment, significantly improve when a country achieves WTO membership compared with at the beginning of the WTO accession process.

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