Pursuing Environmental and Social Objectives through Trade Agreements
WTI working paper No. 08/2022 by Joseph Francois, Bernard Hoekman, Miriam Manchin and Filippo Santi
Using a large dataset covering more than 180 countries and spanning several decades, we employ a SDID estimator to identify the extent to which trade agreements incorporating non-trade provisions (labor standards, environmental protection and civil and political rights) are associated with improvements in corresponding non-trade performance indicators. We distinguish between binding (enforceable) and non-binding provisions in trade agreements, and also control for the allocation of official development
assistance targeting these three non-trade policy areas. Overall, the results suggest that efforts made to date to include non-trade provisions in trade agreements have not resulted in consistent desired (better) non-trade outcomes.