Multilateral trade liberalization and political disintegration - implications for the evolution of free trade areas and customs unions
AbstractThe author combines two theories - one about how multilateral trade liberalization affects regional integration, the other about how it affects political disintegration - to explain why the ratio of free trade areas to customs unions has increased over time. Ethier argues (1998, 1999) that multilateral trade liberalization led to the recent wave of regional integration arrangements. Alesina and others (1997), in discussing the number and size of countries, argue that multilateral trade liberalization leads to political disintegration, with an increase in the number of countries. Combining the two arguments, the author hypothesizes that as multilateral trade liberalization proceeds, and the number of regional integration arrangements increases, the ratio of free trade areas to customs unions also increases. The data, which show that ratio increasing in the 1990s, are consistent with the hypothesis.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2350.
Date of creation: 31 May 2000
Date of revision:
Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Rules of Origin; Earth Sciences&GIS; Trade Policy; Rules of Origin; Earth Sciences&GIS; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Trade and Regional Integration; Economic Theory&Research;
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