The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We revisit the question of the quantitative benefits of WTO trade agreements in a setup that is non-standard from the traditional trade policy point of view. We show that in a New Keynesian model, unilateral trade liberalization reduces welfare due to terms-of-trade deterioration, creating an incentive for a trade agreement. For realistic parameter values, the value of an agreement, which cuts tariffs by one percentage point, is 0.5% to 2% of consumption, much larger than in trade models. The intuition for this result hinges on some New Keynesian features of our framework, such as imperfect competition and endogenous labor supply.