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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed numerous instances in which economic evidence has been submitted to adjudicators in the context of WTO disputes. As it turns out, adjudicators have used this evidence only hesitantly as a basis for their decisions. In this paper we argue that a number of communication and interpretation challenges arising from the use of quantitative economic evidence can explain this phenomenon. In particular, we argue that it is in the current context difficult for adjudicators to assess the reliability and (un)biasedness of such evidence. Guidelines on how to assess quantitative evidence and benchmarks against which to evaluate the quality of such evidence may represent a useful if not necessary step in order to raise the acceptance of the use of quantitative evidence in trade disputes.

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