Does the WTO membership economically matter? Evidence from South Caucasus economies

Motivated by the researches questioning the effectiveness of GATT/ WTO, and WTO membership on member country economies, this article studies the impact of joining to this organization on main macroeconomic indicators: economic growth, exports, imports, government and households final consumption expenditures, and net FDI inflow in case of South Caucasus economies for the period 1994-2012. Based on multiply regression model for time-series, and panel data analyses for Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the article makes a significant contribution to the existing literature. That is, research findings support the claims that WTO membership affects countries differently, depended on the structure of economies. This belongs to the impact on economic growth, exports, and imports. Nevertheless, WTO does not strongly matter for net FDI inflow. Final consumption expenditures of both governments and households are strongly affected by WTO membership. The membership causes to increasing the government final consumption expenditures and significantly decreasing the household consumption expenditure.