Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

A significant body of research has sought to examine claims that developing countries are underrepresented as complainants, and/or over-represented as respondents in the WTO dispute settlement system. Most of this literature has focused on their propensity to participate, the idea being that under-representation as complainants or over representation as respondents would suggest a bias in the system. This paper provides some descriptive statistics that could shed light on a different manifestation of a “bias” against developing countries. It employs a dataset containing information on the legal claims made in each WTO dispute between 1995 and 2006, as well as a rough classification as to whether each specific claim was accepted or not by the respective panel. The data is used to compare the extent to propensity by which G2 countries, other industrialized countries, and developing countries have won the claims that they have made before panels.

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