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Trade liberalisation and regional integration: the search for large numbers

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  • Robinson, Sherman
  • Thierfelder, Karen

Abstract

We surveyed the empirical literature using multi-country computable general equilibrium (CGE) models to analyse potential and actual regional trade agreements (RTAs). The studies indicate that these RTAs improve welfare, that trade creation greatly exceeds trade diversion, and that they are consistent with further global liberalisation. The welfare gains are bigger when models incorporate aspects of ‘‘new trade theory’’ such as increasing returns, imperfect competition, and links between trade liberalisation, total factor productivity growth, and capital accumulation. We also conjectured that an RTA expands market size and stability, allowing firms to pursue economies of fine specialisation, generating additional ‘‘Smithian’’ efficiency gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 2002. "Trade liberalisation and regional integration: the search for large numbers," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(4), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:118597
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    1. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
    2. Brown, D.K., 1992. "The Impact of a North American Free Trade Area: Applied General Equilibrium Models," Working Papers 311, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    3. Joyce Manchester & Warwick Mckibbin, 1995. "The global macroeconomics of NAFTA," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 203-223, July.
    4. Brown, Drusilla K. & Deardorff, Alan V. & Stern, Robert M., 1996. "Computational Analysis of the Economic Effects of an East Asian Preferential Trading Bloc," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 37-70, March.
    5. Wonnacott, Ronald J, 1996. "Free-Trade Agreements: For Better or Worse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 62-66, May.
    6. Grubel, Herbert G & Lloyd, P J, 1971. "The Empirical Measurement of Intra- Industry Trade," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 47(120), pages 494-517, December.
    7. Ronald W. Jones, 2000. "Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026210086x, January.
    8. Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), March.
    9. repec:wsi:wschap:9789812798091_0012 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jaime De Melo & Arvind Panagariya & Dani Rodrik, 2015. "The New Regionalism: A Country Perspective," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 14, pages 323-357 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Brown, Drusilla K. & Deardorff, Alan V. & Stern, Robert M., 1995. "Expanding NAFTA: Economic effects of accession of Chile and other major South American nations," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 149-170.
    12. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 12, pages 393-424 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    13. Robert Scollay & John Gilbert, 2000. "Measuring the Gains from APEC Trade Liberalisation: An Overview of CGE Assessments," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 175-197, February.
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    Keywords

    International Relations/Trade;

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