“Democracy and the GATT/WTO Accession Duration” by Ka-fu WONG
The University of Hong Kong
Recent studies have suggested that accession to GATT/WTO is a complex, difficult, and lengthy process, and such process has lengthened in recent years. Using survival analysis, we find that the applicant’s political regime, together with several other variables, has a significant impact on the time it takes to accede to GATT/WTO. In particular, the accession duration is likely shorter for an applicant whose political regime is more democratic, whose economy is larger, whose economy grows faster, who initiated its accession before 1995, who adopts a fixed exchange rate regime, who is not a least developed country, and increases with the size of GATT/WTO.