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The new regionalism : a country perspective

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  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Panagariya, Arvind
  • Rodrik, Dani

Abstract

Regional integration is on the rise again, despite its apparent failure among developing countries in the past. The authors survey the ambiguous economies of customs unions, emphasizing that the traditional dichotomy between"trade creation"and"trade diversion"is not particularly helpful for policy. In a world with trade restrictions, regional integration presents certain advantages, including enhanced bargaining power and market access. The authors also point out that integration enforces arbitrage in institutions as well as in markets for goods and factors. This kind of arbitrage can lead to improved economic outcomes by making decision-making less sensitive to economically harmful factional interests - especially when regional institutions are designed properly. An empirical evaluation of existing schemes produces no evidence that membership in integration schemes has any effect on growth. Finally, the authors note that recent attempts at regional integration have different starting points and objectives than past efforts - so history is a poor guide to the future of regional integration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1094.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 1993
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1094

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Keywords: Trade and Regional Integration; Economic Theory&Research; Trade Policy; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Environmental Economics&Policies;

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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1983. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 1236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lopez, Ramon & Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "On the Theory of Piecemeal Tariff Reform: The Case of Pure Imported Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 615-25, June.
  3. Berglas, Eitan, 1979. "Preferential Trading Theory: The n Commodity Case," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 315-31, April.
  4. Fischer, Stanley, 1990. "Rules versus discretion in monetary policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 21, pages 1155-1184 Elsevier.
  5. Corden, W M, 1972. "Economies of Scale and Customs Union Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 465-75, May-June.
  6. C. A. Cooper & B. F. Massell, 1965. "Toward a General Theory of Customs Unions for Developing Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 461.
  7. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  8. Bhagwati, Jagdish, 1990. "Departures from Multilateralism: Regionalism and Aggressive Unilateralism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1304-17, December.
  9. Wonnacott, Paul & Wonnacott, Ronald, 1984. "How General Is the Case for Unilateral Tariff Reduction?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 491, June.
  10. Langhammer, Rolf J. & Hiemenz, Ulrich, 1990. "Regional integration among developing countries : opportunities, obstacles and options," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 416, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  11. Erzan, Refik & Yeats, Alexander, 1992. "Free trade agreements with the United States : what's in it for Latin America?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 827, The World Bank.
  12. Corden, W. M., 1976. "Customs union theory and the nonuniformity of tariffs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 99-106, February.
  13. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
  14. 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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