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The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and the role of computable general equilibrium modelling: an exercise in 'Managing fictional expectations'

(2015) NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY. 20(5). p.653-678
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Abstract
Negotiations between the world's two largest trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the USA, on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been ongoing since July 2013. Anticipating the controversy the agreement has sparked, EU trade policy-makers in the European Commission have put considerable effort into discursively framing the agreement on their terms. Drawing on computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the agreement's likely impact, the central claim has been that the TTIP promises to deliver much-needed ‘growth and jobs’ without stretching the public purse at a time of austerity. Our main argument in this article, drawing on the insights of the economic sociologist Jens Beckert, is that these CGE models – and the figures they have produced – represent an important exercise in ‘managing of fictional expectations’. The models make overly optimistic predictions about the ability of the EU and the USA to eliminate regulatory barriers to trade – which are unlikely to be realised in the face of considerable political opposition – and also downplay the potential deregulatory impact of an agreement. Rather than act as a reliable guide to future outcomes, we thus show that these models serve the pro-liberalisation agenda of the European Commission and other advocates of the TTIP.
Keywords
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), AMERICAN, SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT, SYSTEM, BRITISH, POLITICAL-ECONOMY, MUTUAL RECOGNITION, GOVERNANCE, DISCOURSE, IPE, GLOBALIZATION, computable general equilibrium (CGE), 'fictional expectations', economic sociology, European Union (EU), trade policy

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MLA
De Ville, Ferdi, and Gabriel Siles-Brügge. “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Role of Computable General Equilibrium Modelling: An Exercise in ‘Managing Fictional Expectations.’” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY, vol. 20, no. 5, 2015, pp. 653–78.
APA
De Ville, F., & Siles-Brügge, G. (2015). The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and the role of computable general equilibrium modelling: an exercise in “Managing fictional expectations.” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY, 20(5), 653–678.
Chicago author-date
De Ville, Ferdi, and Gabriel Siles-Brügge. 2015. “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Role of Computable General Equilibrium Modelling: An Exercise in ‘Managing Fictional Expectations.’” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY 20 (5): 653–78.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Ville, Ferdi, and Gabriel Siles-Brügge. 2015. “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Role of Computable General Equilibrium Modelling: An Exercise in ‘Managing Fictional Expectations.’” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY 20 (5): 653–678.
Vancouver
1.
De Ville F, Siles-Brügge G. The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and the role of computable general equilibrium modelling: an exercise in “Managing fictional expectations.” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY. 2015;20(5):653–78.
IEEE
[1]
F. De Ville and G. Siles-Brügge, “The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and the role of computable general equilibrium modelling: an exercise in ‘Managing fictional expectations,’” NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 653–678, 2015.
@article{5775662,
  abstract     = {{Negotiations between the world's two largest trading partners, the European Union (EU) and the USA, on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been ongoing since July 2013. Anticipating the controversy the agreement has sparked, EU trade policy-makers in the European Commission have put considerable effort into discursively framing the agreement on their terms. Drawing on computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of the agreement's likely impact, the central claim has been that the TTIP promises to deliver much-needed ‘growth and jobs’ without stretching the public purse at a time of austerity. Our main argument in this article, drawing on the insights of the economic sociologist Jens Beckert, is that these CGE models – and the figures they have produced – represent an important exercise in ‘managing of fictional expectations’. The models make overly optimistic predictions about the ability of the EU and the USA to eliminate regulatory barriers to trade – which are unlikely to be realised in the face of considerable political opposition – and also downplay the potential deregulatory impact of an agreement. Rather than act as a reliable guide to future outcomes, we thus show that these models serve the pro-liberalisation agenda of the European Commission and other advocates of the TTIP.}},
  author       = {{De Ville, Ferdi and Siles-Brügge, Gabriel}},
  issn         = {{1356-3467}},
  journal      = {{NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY}},
  keywords     = {{Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP),AMERICAN,SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT,SYSTEM,BRITISH,POLITICAL-ECONOMY,MUTUAL RECOGNITION,GOVERNANCE,DISCOURSE,IPE,GLOBALIZATION,computable general equilibrium (CGE),'fictional expectations',economic sociology,European Union (EU),trade policy}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{5}},
  pages        = {{653--678}},
  title        = {{The transatlantic trade and investment partnership and the role of computable general equilibrium modelling: an exercise in 'Managing fictional expectations'}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563467.2014.983059}},
  volume       = {{20}},
  year         = {{2015}},
}

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