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Regional integration and the prices of imports : an empirical investigation

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  • Winters, L. Alan
  • Won Chang

Abstract

The authors explore the effects on the terms of trade of regional economic integration. They show why it is an appropriate measure of the welfare effects of such integration, comparing it with the many ex post studies that base their conclusions on changes in the import shares of member and nonmember countries. They demonstrate, by using a simple strategic model, how member countries might gain in their terms of trade, and nonmembers lose, through a lowering of preferential tariffs. Most important, they show that measuring such price effects, though difficult, is feasible. This is the first ex post study of its kind, they believe, and an improvement over previous ex post studies on how integration affects the rest of theworld. Using finely disaggregated data about Spanish imports of finished manufactures from major OECD trading partners, despite their noisiness, they found a consistent story over all of the country pairs examined. They find that nonmembers (in this case, Japan and the United States) suffered detectable losses in terms of trade relative to European Community competitors in Spanish import markets for differentiated goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1782.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1782

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Keywords: Trade Policy; Environmental Economics&Policies; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Access to Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Environmental Economics&Policies; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT;

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Cited by:
  1. Winters, L. Alan & Chang, Won, 2000. "Regional integration and import prices: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 363-377, August.
  2. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.

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