Stiglitz on Doha round

The Com­mon­wealth Sec­re­tari­at has com­mis­sioned for­mer Clin­ton Coun­cil of Eco­nom­ic Advis­ers mem­ber and World Bank Chief Econ­o­mist (and Nobel prize win­ner) Joe Stiglitz to review the devel­op­ment con­tent of the so-called “Doha Devel­op­ment Agen­da”. bq. Our report comes down sound­ly on the side of the devel­op­ing coun­tries. Recent nego­ti­a­tions have not only failed to push an agen­da that would pro­mote devel­op­ment; they have includ­ed a host of issues of tan­gen­tial inter­est, or even detri­men­tal, to devel­op­ing coun­tries. (“”:

The ori­gin of the name of the Doha round of WTO nego­ti­a­tions is a mat­ter of con­tro­ver­sy. It’s lit­tle more than a pub­lic­i­ty stunt, and a slight­ly patron­iz­ing one at that. The WTO agree­ments don’t pro­vide a recipe for devel­op­ment and nev­er will. The WTO is most­ly about resolv­ing con­flicts and min­i­miz­ing the neg­a­tive exter­nal con­se­quences of eco­nom­ic poli­cies: so its agen­da is inevitably deter­mined by the con­cerns of the most pow­er­ful trad­ing economies. To the extent that nego­ti­at­ing rounds pro­mote trade lib­er­al­iza­tion they work in the right direc­tion for growth. But gov­er­ments should by now have in their eco­nom­ic man­age­ment toolk­it a whole raft of pol­i­cy options—multilateral trade lib­er­al­iza­tion only one among them—that serve the very com­plex goals of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment. A copy of the “report(pdf file about 400k)”: is avail­able from the Com­mon­wealth Secretariat.

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