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Playing Dominoes in Europe: An Empirical Analysis of the Domino Theory for the EU, 1962-2004

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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the question whether the domino theory of regionalism is a reasonable explanation for the growth in EU membership over the past forty years. In essence, this theory states that the conclusion of a new regional trade agreement or the deepening of an existing one will induce non-members to join the trade bloc. The empirical analysis proceeds in two stages. First, a gravity analysis shows that the EU was more attractive than EFTA since it triggered a higher degree of trade diversion. In a second step, a discrete choice model is used to assess the importance of variables reflecting domino effects relative to other possible determinants of EU expansion. The findings provide convincing evidence in support of the domino theory.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 11-2006.

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    Length: 47
    Date of creation: May 2006
    Date of revision: Jun 2006
    Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heiwp11-2006

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    Keywords: Regional trade agreements; Western Europe; gravity equation; panel econometrics; qualitative choice models;

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    3. Aitken, Norman D, 1973. "The Effect of the EEC and EFTA on European Trade: A Temporal Cross-Section Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 881-92, December.
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    7. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    8. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
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    16. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    17. Pédussel Wu, Jennifer, 2004. "Measuring and explaining levels of regional economic integration," ZEI Working Papers B 12-2004, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
    18. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
    19. Laszlo Matyas, 1997. "Proper Econometric Specification of the Gravity Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 363-368, 05.
    20. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2004. "Economic determinants of free trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 29-63, October.
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    22. Greenaway, David & Milner, Chris, 2002. "Regionalism and Gravity," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 574-85, December.
    23. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1997. "Technology and Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 6253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Mansfield, Edward D. & Reinhardt, Eric, 2003. "Multilateral Determinants of Regionalism: The Effects of GATT/WTO on the Formation of Preferential Trading Arrangements," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 829-862, September.
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