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Small Countries and Preferential Trade Agreements "How Severe is the Innocent Bystander Problem?"

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Author Info

  • M. Ayhan Kose
  • Raymond Riezman

Abstract

This paper examines the welfare implications of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) from the perspective of small countries in the context of a multi-country, general equilibrium model. We calibrate our model to represent one relatively small country and two symmetric big countries. We consider two cases. In one case, the small country is an 'innocent bystander', that is, it is left out of a PTA between the two large countries. In the second case, the small country signs a PTA with one of the large countries. We simulate the model and calculate consumption allocations, prices, t rade volume, and tariffs in these two cases considering three different equilibria: Free Trade (FT), Free Trade Area (FTA), and Customs Union (CU). We find that free trade is the best outcome for the small country. If the large country PTA takes the for m of a CU then the cost of being an 'innocent bystander' is very large. If it is a FTA then the cost of being an 'innocent bystander' is relatively modest. In fact, the small country prefers to be an 'innocent bystander' to being a member of a FTA with one of the large countries.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2000/wp-cesifo-2000-02/WP253.PDF
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 253.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_253

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Related research

Keywords: Preferential trade agreements; general equilibrium; tariffs; welfare; small countries;

References

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  1. Paul Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Nov, pages 5-25.
  2. Carsten Kowalczyk & Tomas Sjostrom, 1993. "Bringing GATT into the Core," NBER Working Papers 4343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Raymond Riezman, 1999. "Can Bilateral Trade Agreements Help Induce Free Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(3), pages 751-766, May.
  4. Kennan, John & Riezman, Raymond, 1988. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 81-85, February.
  5. M. Ayhan Kose & Raymond Riezman, 1999. "Understanding the Welfare Implications of Preferential Trade Agreements," CSGR Working papers series, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick 45/99, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  6. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  7. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
  8. Riezman, Raymond, 1985. "Customs unions and the core," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 355-365, November.
  9. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 1990. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 70-83, February.
  10. Jon D. Haveman, 1996. "Some Welfare Effects of Sequential Customs Union Formation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 941-58, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Oksana Harbuzyuk & Stefan Lutz, 2008. "Analyzing trade opening in Ukraine: effects of a customs union with the EU," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 221-238, September.

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