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Free Trade Agreements versus Customs Unions

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  • Anne O. Krueger
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    Abstract

    Until NAFTA, analyses of preferential trading arrangements began by assuming a customs union with a common external tariff, and the differences between customs unions and free trade agreements (FTAs) have been little analyzed. This paper points to some of the differences between FTAs and customs unions, and shows that on welfare grounds a customs union is always Pareto-superior to an FTA. Moreover, the political economy of FTAs will lead to more opposition to further multilateral trade liberalization than will customs unions.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5084.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5084.

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    Date of creation: Apr 1995
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    Publication status: published as Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 54, no. 1 (October 1997): 169-187.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5084

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    1. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-19, September.
    2. Kala Krishna & Anne Krueger, 1995. "Implementing Free Trade Areas: Rules of Origin and Hidden Protection," NBER Working Papers 4983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    4. Deepak Lal, 1993. "Trade Blocs and Multilateral Free Trade," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 349-358, 09.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," NBER Working Papers 4335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
    7. International Monetary Fund, 1992. "Regional Trade Arrangements," IMF Occasional Papers 93, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
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