A supervisor at a port in Asia looks on as a container is loaded onto a ship with its goods headed for export. December 8, 1994.

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The World Bank, the IMF, and the GATT/WTO: Which institution most supported trade reform in developing economies?

Working Papers 22-19
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Reuters photographer


The 1980s and 1990s saw a policy revolution in developing countries in which many highly protected (if not closed) economies were opened to world trade. These reforms were largely undertaken unilaterally, but international economic institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization supported these efforts. This paper examines the ways in which these institutions promoted, or failed to promote, trade policy reform during this pivotal period.

Data Disclosure:

The data underlying this analysis can be downloaded here.

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