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Welfare effects of preferential trade agreements under optimal tariffs

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  • Saggi, Kamal
  • Yildiz, Halis Murat

Abstract

In a three country model with endogenous tariffs, this paper evaluates and contrasts the welfare effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) and customs unions (CUs) — the two most commonly occurring preferential trade agreements (PTAs). We show that if the external tariff of a PTA is not too high, it benefits both members and non-members. We also highlight the implications of a key (but commonly ignored) distinction between the two types of PTAs: while an FTA member can form an another (independent) FTA with an existing non-member, a CU member cannot. Under a pair of independent bilateral FTAs, the common member’s welfare is higher than that under free trade. Furthermore, if the common member is relatively efficient compared to the other two countries, such a ‘hub and spoke’ pattern of FTAs can yield higher global welfare than free trade. By contrast, such an outcome is never possible under a CU.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17562.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17562

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Related research

Keywords: Free Trade Agreements; Customs Unions; External Tariffs; Welfare; Intraindustry Trade; Oligopoly;

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References

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  1. Marston, Richard C., 1990. "Pricing to market in Japanese manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 217-236, November.
  2. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
  3. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Tariff Protection and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 517, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Endogenous free trade agreements and the multilateral trading system," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 471-497, December.
  5. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1997. "Multilateral tariff cooperation during the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 91-123, February.
  6. Diego Puga & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Preferential Trading Arrangements and Industrial Location," CEP Discussion Papers dp0267, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Won Chang & L. Alan Winters, 2002. "How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 889-904, September.
  8. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1996. "Regional Integration and Lobbying for Tariffs Against Non-members," CEPR Discussion Papers 1448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
  10. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  11. Bohara, Alok K. & Gawande, Kishore & Sanguinetti, Pablo, 2004. "Trade diversion and declining tariffs: evidence from Mercosur," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 65-88, October.
  12. 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.
  13. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 1990. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 70-83, February.
  14. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation During the Formation of Free Trade Areas," Discussion Papers 1048, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  16. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Varian, Hal R, 1985. "When Are Nash Equilibria Independent of the Distribution of Agents' Characteristics?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 715-18, October.
  17. Panagariya, Arvind & Krishna, Pravin, 2002. "On necessarily welfare-enhancing free trade areas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 353-367, August.
  18. Kamal Saggi, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements And Multilateral Tariff Cooperation ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 29-57, 02.
  19. Bond, Eric W. & Riezman, Raymond G. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2004. "A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-27, October.
  20. 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, vol. 29(1), pages 81-85, February.
  21. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Deltas, George & Desmet, Klaus & Facchini, Giovanni, 2006. "Hub-and-Spoke Free Trade Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 5960, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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