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WAEMU West African Economic and Monetary Union
Wage The payment for the service of a unit of labor, per unit time. In trade theory, it is the only payment to labor, usually unskilled labor. In empirical work, wage data may exclude other compensation, which must be added to get the total cost of employment.
Wage insurance A program to pay displaced workers, for a limited period of time when they become re-employed, a specified fraction of the gap between their old wage and lower new wage. As of 2002, the US provides wage insurance to a limited number of workers as part of Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance.
Wage-price spiral A feedback process in which increasing wages lead, through costs, to increasing prices, while increasing prices lead, through the need to maintain real wages, to increasing wages.
Wage-rental ratio The ratio of the wage of labor to the rental price of either capital or land, whichever is the other factor in a two-factor Heckscher-Ohlin model. The ratio plays a critical role in this model since it determines the ratios of factors employed in both industries.
Waiver An authorized deviation from the terms of a previously negotiated and legally binding agreement. Many countries have sought and obtained waivers from particular obligations of the GATT and WTO.
Walker principles Principles for WTO reform from New Zealand WTO Ambassador David Walker in 2019 to revive the dispute settlement mechanism. They address several US concerns, including timely completion of appeals, limited tenure of Appellate Body members, and limiting its ability to make new rules. [Source]
Walker Tariff Adopted in 1846, this essentially reversed the high rates of the Black Tariff of 1842 [Source]
Walras' Law The property of a general equilibrium that if all but one of the markets are in equilibrium, then the remaining market is also in equilibrium, automatically. This follows from the budget constraints of the market participants, and it implies that any one market-clearing condition is redundant and can be ignored.
Walrasian adjustment A market adjustment mechanism in which the price rises when there is excess demand and falls when there is excess supply. Strictly speaking, these excesses are those that would obtain without any history of disequilibrium, as with a Walrasian auctioneer. Contrasts with Marshallian adjustment.
Walrasian auctioneer A hypothetical entity that facilitates market adjustment in disequilibrium by announcing prices and collecting information about supply and demand at those prices without any disequilibrium transactions actually taking place.
Wandel durch Handel Change through Trade
WARP Weak axiom of revealed preference.
Warsaw Pact A "treaty of friendship, co-operation, and mutual assistance" including the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Central Europe. Signed in 1955, it included eight countries. [Source]
Washington Consensus 1. A set of ten economic practices and reforms deemed by international financial institutions (located in Washington, D.C.) to be helpful for financial stability and economic development; often imposed as conditionality for economic assistance by these institutions. Phrase coined by John Williamson (1990).
2. To the dismay of Williamson, over time the phrase has come to be a synonym for neoliberalism and market fundamentalism.
Washington Consensus Mark 2 Name sometimes given to the views expressed by Dani Rodrik and co-authors, who amend or even replace the Washington Consensus with "get the institutions right." See Rodrik et al. (2004).
Wassenaar Arrangement The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a cooperative arrangement among a group of countries intended to voluntarily limit access to exports that might enhance the military capabilities of suspect countries. Named after the town in the Netherlands where it was negotiated in December 1995. [Source]
Watch List One of two lists (with the Priority Watch List) that are identified in USTR's annual Special 301 Report as providing inadequate or ineffective protection of intellectual property. Those on the Priority Watch List present the greatest concerns. [Source]
Watchlist A list of countries that the US Treasury identifies as satisfying some, but not all, of its criteria for being a currency manipulator, and therefore that it will pay close attention to. [Source]
Water in the tariff 1. The extent to which a tariff is higher than necessary to be prohibitive; tariff redundancy. [Source] [Origin]
2. After dirty tariffication, the extent to which the out-of-quota tariff is larger than the tariff equivalent of the replaced nontariff barrier. [Source] [Origin]
3. The extent to which an applied tariff is below the bound tariff; tariff overhang. [Source] [Origin]
Ways and Means Committee The committee of the U.S. House of Representatives that deals with taxation, including tariffs and other international trade policies.
WCO World Customs Organization
WDI World Development Indicators
Weak axiom of revealed preference Assumption that consumers who reveal strict preference for one bundle of goods over another will not, in other circumstances, reveal preference for the second over the first. That is, if qi, qj are the vectors of goods purchased at prices pi, pj, then piqi>piqj  pjqi>pjqj. Used in proving correlation results.
Wealth 1. The total value of the accumulated assets owned by an individual, household, community, or country.
2. The word is often used, incorrectly, as a synonym for income.
Wealth effect of depreciation The increase in value of foreign-currency denominated assets and liabilities relative to domestic ones that occurs when a country's currency depreciates. If, as is common, a country has borrowed in foreign currency to finance assets in domestic currency, this effect can turn positive net wealth to negative, causing extreme hardship.
Weaponized interdependence Term introduced by Farrell and Newman (2019) for the use by countries of international webs of interdependence (supply chains, electronic networks, etc.) to gain information about, put pressure on, and/or inflict harm on other countries. Most effective for countries that occupy critical nodes of that web.
Webb-Pomerene Act US legislation enacted in 1918, exempting certain exporters and exporter associations from anti-trust legislation. [Source]
WEF World Economic Forum
WEIRD Acronym introduced by Henrich et al. (2010) for societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. The point is that these people, a tiny part of world population, are the focus of most work in behavioral sciences, including economics, which is thus of questionable validity for application to others.
Welfare The economic well-being of an individual, group, or economy. Individual welfare is conceptualized by utility. For groups whose members may fare differently, such as countries or the world, it is a tricky philosophical concept. In trade theory, welfare may be inferred from real national income or from the Kaldor-Hicks criterion.
Welfare criterion A basis, usually quantitative, for judging whether one state of the world or of an economy is better than another, for use in welfare economics and in evaluation of policies. See Kaldor-Hicks criterion and social welfare function.
Welfare economics The branch of economic thought that deals with economic welfare, including especially various propositions relating competitive general equilibrium to the efficiency and desirability of an allocation. See the first and second theorems of welfare economics.
Welfare proposition In trade theory, this usually refers to any of several gains from trade theorems.
Welfare state A set of government programs that attempt to provide economic security for the population by providing for people when they are unemployed, ill, disabled, or elderly.
Welfare triangle In a partial equilibrium market diagram, the Harberger triangle representing the net welfare benefit or loss from a policy or other change. In trade theory it often means the triangle or triangles representing the deadweight loss due to a tariff.
Well-being index See Sustainable Economic Development Assessment.
WEO World Economic Outlook
WEO Classification The categorization of countries used by the IMF in its World Economic Outlook data: Advanced Economies with subgroups by size and currency; and Emerging Market and Developing Economies with subgroups by region and source of export earnings.
Werner Committee A committee formed by the EEC to "to explore ways of making progress towards economic and monetary union." Its 1970 report "saw irrevocably locking exchange rates as essential for ... the Common Market and as insulating Europe from destabilizing monetary impulses from the United States." [Source]
West African Development Bank Banque Ouest Africaine de Developpement
West African Economic and Monetary Union One of two monetary unions in Africa whose members until recently shared the CFA franc, along with CAEMC. As of 2020, they planned to replace that currency with the eco, managed by the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest.
Western Hemisphere Free Trade Area Name sometimes proposed for a preferential trading arrangement that would include most or all of the countries of the western hemisphere. Now more commonly called FTAA.
Westphalia See Treaty of Westphalia.
WFOE Wholly foreign-owned enterprise
WFTO World Fair Trade Organization
WGI Worldwide Governance Indicators
Whatever it takes The phrase used by ECB President Mario Draghi, July 26, 2012, that successfully calmed financial markets that were worried about a breakup of the euro: "Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough." [Source]
Where-To-Be-Born Index An index that "analyzes which countries around the world have the potential to provide the highest quality of life to its citizens." It "includes health, safety, and prosperity for the future of the country."
WHFTA Western Hemisphere Free Trade Area
White knight A person or firm that attempts to thwart a hostile takeover of another firm, often by offering to acquire it on more favorable terms. In attempted cross-border takeovers, the white knight is usually from the same country as the firm being targeted for acquisition.
White Plan Harry Dexter White's plan in the negotiations that created the International Monetary Fund at Bretton Woods. It "placed the dollar and its ties to gold at the center of the international monetary system." [Source]
Whitelist The list of Excepted Foreign States under the CFIUS. [Source]
WHO World Health Organization
Wholly foreign-owned enterprise While logically this term could apply to any foreign-owned enterprise in any country, it is used primarily for such enterprises in China. The acronym WFOE is pronounced "woofie."
Wide band An exchange regime in which the exchange rate is pegged, but the limits of intervention are set further apart than the usual ± one or two percent. Same as target zone.
WIIW Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies
Williams Commission Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy
Willingness to pay The largest amount of money that an individual or group could pay, along with a change in policy, without being made worse off. It is therefore a monetary measure of the benefit to them of the policy change. If negative, it measures its cost.
Wilson-Gorman Tariff A small reduction in US tariffs enacted in 1894.
Windsor Framework A February 27, 2023, agreement between the EU and UK to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol. To ease trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, "green" and "red" lanes will separate goods that need most checking from those that do not, the latter because they will remain in Norther Ireland. [Source]
Wine lake Term refering to the excess supplies of wine that have sometimes accumulated in the EU from the subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy. [Source]
WIOD World Input-Output Database
WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization
WIPO Development Agenda Adopted in 2007 by the member states of WIPO, this "ensures that development considerations form an integral part of WIPO's work." A purpose, as pushed by Brazil, is to "constrain the adoption of ever-stronger intellectual property protection." [Source]
Withhold release order A mechanism used by US CBP under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to stop import of goods produced with forced labor. Under a WRO, imports are detained until the importer provides evidence that they were not produced with forced labor or until the importer re-exports out of the US. [Source]
Withholding tax A tax on income that is levied at the source, thus diverted to the government before the recipient of the income ever sees it. Used in international tax treaties to assist tax collection.
WITS World Integrated Trade Solution
WJP World Justice Project
Won The main currency unit of South Korea. It is divided into 100 jeon.
Worker rights Labor rights.
Working party A group that is delegated to study an issue. Used by the WTO as a first step in considering a new issue that may later become the subject of negotiations.
Working requirement In intellectual property rights, a requirement that a patent, trademark, or copyright be used (a good produced or sold, for example) within a specified time period or else the right will lapse or be subject to compulsory licensing. [Source]
World Bank A group of five closely associated international institutions providing loans and other development assistance to developing countries. The five institutions are IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA, and ICSID. As of February 2024, the largest of these, IBRD, had 189 member countries.
World Competitiveness Ranking Published annually since 1989 by the IMD World Competitiveness Center, this "analyzes and ranks countries according to how they manage their competencies to achieve long-term value creation."
World Customs Organization The intergovernmental organization, based in Brussels, Belgium, that deals with matters of customs. It develops and promotes global standards and procedures for customs administration, and it maintains the harmonized system of tariff classification. As of February 2024, it had 185 members.
World Development Indicators A publication of the World Bank that compiles a large amount of data on economic development for all the countries of the world.
World Economic Conference 1. A gathering of world leaders in 1927, organized by the League of Nations to stop the rise of protectionism. Nations agreed on a code to limit quantitative restrictions and promised not to raise tariffs. The code was never ratified by enough countries, and the truce ended with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. [Source]
2. A second gathering of world leaders, in London in 1933, also called the London Economic and Monetary Conference. Its main concern, at the insistence of US President Roosevelt, was international payments including reparations payments by Germany, and it failed to reach any agreement when Roosevelt refused to accept efforts to stabilize exchange rates. [Source]
World Economic Forum A self-described "independent, international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation," best known for hosting the annual Davos meeting. It also hosts other meetings, produces reports, and publishes country rankings on aspects of the world economy.
World Economic Outlook A report by the staff economists of the IMF, usually published twice a year. It includes "analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term."
World Factbook An excellent source of information about the countries of the world, including basic economic data, provided by the CIA
World Fair Trade Organization "The global community of social enterprises that fully practice Fair Trade."
World Giving Index An index produced by the Charities Aid Foundation of charitable giving across the countries of the world, based on surveys of amounts of money, time, and other assistance that people have provided to people in need.
World Happiness Report A ranking of countries by "how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be," produced by the United Nations.
World Health Organization With 194 countries as members, the WHO coordinates the world's response to health emergencies, promotes well-being, prevents disease, and expands access to health care.
World Inequality Database A compilation of data on the world distribution of income and wealth, both within and between countries.
World Input-Output Database A public database that provides a time-series of world input-output tables for 40 countries, with inputs split into domestic and imports by country to enable analysis of value added trade.
World Integrated Trade Solution Software allowing access to information on trade and tariffs, developed and provided by the World Bank in collaboration with several other institutions.
World Intellectual Property Organization The United Nations organization that establishes and coordinates standards for intellectual property protection. As of February 2024, it had 193 members.
World Justice Project "An independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide." Produces the Rule of Law Index
World market See world price.
World Organization for Animal Health Formed in 1924 as Office International des Epizooties, it kept its acronym OIE when it adopted its current name in 2003. It is responsible for "improving animal health worldwide." The WTO's SPS Agreement names OIE as the relevant organization for animal health.
World Population Review A repository of easily understood data on population and related topics for the world and for its many divisions, from continent down to cities. The website says nothing about who provides this or its sources.
World Press Freedom Index A measure of press freedom produced annually by Reporters without Borders.
World price The price of a good on the "world market," meaning the price outside of any country's borders and therefore exclusive of any trade taxes or subsidies that might apply crossing a border into a country but inclusive of any that might apply crossing out of a country.
World production possibility frontier The aggregate production possibility frontier for all of the countries of the world. Usually depicted for a two-good, two-country model.
World Systems Theory A perspective within historical sociology and economic history that seeks to explain the capitalist portions of the world economy as being part of a total social system. This view originated with Wallerstein (1974). [Source]
World Tourism Organization "The United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism."
World Trade Institute Located at the University of Bern, WTI is a "leading academic institution dedicated to studies, teaching and research in international trade and investment regulation, economic globalisation and sustainability."
World Trade Monitor A monthly publication of CPB that reports data and recent developments regarding world trade.
World Trade Organization A global international organization that specifies and enforces rules for the conduct of international trade policies and serves as a forum for negotiations to reduce barriers to trade. Formed in 1995 as the successor to the GATT, it had 164 member countries as of February 2024.
World transformation curve The world production possibility frontier.
World Values Survey A "global network of social scientists studying changing values and their impact on social and political life."
Worldwide Governance Indicators Measures produced by the World Bank for over 200 countries and territories of how well they are governed, including indicators of accountability, stability, effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and corruption.
WRO Withhold release order
WTI World Trade Institute
WTO World Trade Organization
WTO-plus 1. Sometimes used to refer to requirements made of countries recently joining the WTO that are more stringent than for earlier entrants.
2. More commonly refers to provisions of PTAs that go beyond what are included in the WTO, either by dealing with issues not covered by the WTO by addressing the same issues more completely.
WVS World Values Survey