A Domino Theory of Regionalism
AbstractRegional liberalization sweeps the globe like wildfire while multilateral nude talks proceed at a glacial pace. Why are countries eager to liberalize regionally but reluctant to do so multilaterally? The answer of the GATT-is-dead school is that multilateralism is too cumbersome for contemporary trade issues, This paper proposes a very different answer. Recent regionalism is caused by two idiosyncratic events multiplied by a domino effect. The triggering events - the U.S-Mexico ETA and the EC's 1992 programmes had nothing to do with GATT's health. The domino effect is simple. Political equilibria, which balance anti- and pro-membership forces, determine governments' stances on regional liberalization. Domestic exporters to regional blocs are a powerful pro-membership constituency. An event that triggers closer integration within an existing bloc harms the profits of nonmember exporters, thus stimulating them to boost their promembership political activity. The extra activity alters the political equilibrium, leading some countries to join. This enlargement further harms nonmember exporters since they now face a disadvantage in a greater number of markets. This second round effect brings forth more promembership political activity and a further enlargement of the bloc. The new political equilibrium is marked by larger regional trading blocs. In the meantime regionalism appears to spread like wildfire.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4465.
Date of creation: Sep 1993
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Krugman, Paul, 1991.
"Increasing Returns and Economic Geography,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992.
"Protection for Sale,"
162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
- Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975.
"Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.