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Returns to Regionalism: An Evaluation of Non-traditional Gains from RTAs

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  • Fernández, Raquel

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the number of regional trade agreements (RTAs). There seems to be a general, if ill-defined, belief on the part of many policy-makers, and among some academics as well, that there is more to an RTA then the traditional gains from trade. This paper examines several possible benefits that RTAs may confer on their partners, including credibility, signalling, bargaining power, insurance, and coordination. It assesses the necessary conditions for each of these candidates to work; gives stylized examples of specific types of policy where it might be applicable; examines real cases where the explanation might be relevant; and discusses their overall plausibility. It concludes by examining NAFTA and the Europe Agreements viewed in this light.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1634.

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Date of creation: Apr 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1634

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Related research

Keywords: Credibility; Europe Agreements; NAFTA; Regional Trade Agreements; Signaling;

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References

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  1. John Whalley, 1998. "Why Do Countries Seek Regional Trade Agreements?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 63-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Gould, 1992. "Free trade agreements and the credibility of trade reforms," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 17-27.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 5921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:fth:coluec:9596-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  7. Schiff, Maurice & Winters, L. Alan, 1997. "Regional integration as diplomacy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1801, The World Bank.
  8. Hamilton, C.B. & Winters, L.A., 1992. "Opening Up International Trade in Eastern Europe," Papers 511, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
  10. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sapir, Andre, 1998. "The political economy of EC regionalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 717-732, May.
  2. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 1997. "Regional Integration and Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Chen, Duanjie, 2001. "The impact of NAFTA and options for tax reform in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2669, The World Bank.
  4. M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher M. Towe & Guy Meredith, 2004. "How Has Nafta Affected the Mexican Economy? Review and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 04/59, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Davide Sala, 2007. "RTAs Formation and Trade Policy," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/59, European University Institute.
  6. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Duanje Chen, 2001. "NAFTA and Mexico's Tax Policy Reform," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0102, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  7. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Mark M. Spiegel, 1997. "North-South Customs Unions and International Capital Mobility," Research Department Publications 4060, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Piazolo, Daniel, 1997. "Gaining credibility and enhancing economic growth through regional integration: The case for EU membership of Eastern Europe," Kiel Working Papers 837, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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