The World Trade Organization, competition policy, and developing countries: A cross -country examination of domestic policy actions

Raju Parakkal, Florida International University


This dissertation addresses the following research question: in a particular policy area, why do countries that display unanimity in their international policy behavior diverge from each other in their domestic policy actions? I address this question in the context of the divergent domestic competition policy actions undertaken by developing countries during the period 1996-2007, after these countries had quite conspicuously displayed near-unanimity in opposing this policy measure at the World Trade Organization (WTO). This divergence is puzzling because (a) it does not align with their near-unanimous behavior at the WTO over competition policy and (b) it is at variance with the objectives of their international opposition to this policy at the WTO. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this dissertation examines the factors responsible for this divergence in the domestic competition policy actions of developing countries. ^ The theoretical structure employed in this study is the classic second-image-reversed framework in international relations theory that focuses on the domestic developments in various countries following an international development. Methodologically, I employ both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to ascertain the nature of the relationship between the dependent variable and the eight explanatory variables that were identified from existing literature. The data on some of the key variables used in this dissertation was uniquely created over a multi-year period through extensive online research and represents the most comprehensive and updated dataset currently available. ^ The quantitative results obtained from logistic regression using data on 131 countries point toward the significant role played by international organizations in engineering change in this policy area in developing countries. The qualitative analysis consisting of three country case studies illuminate the channels of influence of the explanatory variables and highlight the role of domestic-level factors in these three carefully selected countries. After integrating the findings from the quantitative and qualitative analyses, I conclude that a mix of international- and domestic-level variables explains the divergence in domestic competition policy actions among developing countries. My findings also confirm the argument of the second-image-reversed framework that, given an international development or situation, the policy choices that states make can differ from each other and are mediated by domestic-level factors. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General|Political Science, General|Political Science, International Law and Relations

Recommended Citation

Raju Parakkal, "The World Trade Organization, competition policy, and developing countries: A cross -country examination of domestic policy actions" (January 1, 2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3395782.