This paper analyzes the explanatory power of mainstream international regime theories from the international political economy (IPE) literature—neoliberalism, realism, and cognitivism—through formal econometric techniques. I use a data set based on 162 dispute settlement cases since the inception of the World Trade Organization and find that the probability of a Dispute Settlement Panel (DSP) forming depends on the share of exports for a target country as a share of its total exports as well as relative gaps in military expenditures (as a share of GDP). These results are highly robust to different model specifications and control variable choice. Though the cognitivist variable does not yield significant results, this paper represents a positive first step toward more widespread application and confirmation of regime theories through empirical testing.
Griffin, Christopher L.
"The Political Economy of WTO Dispute Settlement: Toward a Synthesis of International Regime Theories,"
University Avenue Undergraduate Journal of Economics: Vol. 7
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uauje/vol7/iss1/2