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National Policies and the Limits of International Integration

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  • Gerber, James

Abstract

In spite of the rapid growth of merchandise trade since the end of World War II, the world economy is far from integrated. Services trade, capital flows, population migration, and price differences demonstrate far more scope for international economic integration. Even among nations with preferential trade agreements, networks of merchandise trade relations are far denser intra-nationally than internationally. The absence of goods trade predicted by trade models when nations have few policy barriers implies that crossing national boundaries is a significant indicator of increased transaction costs. These patterns have caused the world trade agenda to examine some unintended trade restrictions which make up a part of national domestic policies. This focus is apparent in current negotiations such as the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement. New items for negotiation include product standards, competition policies, services, and investment policies. Most contentious are labor and environmental standards, where the potential for protectionist capture is greater and the mutual recognition versus harmonization debate is obscured.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerber, James, 2000. "National Policies and the Limits of International Integration," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 1(01).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:23829
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/23829
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    2. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-446, June.
    3. William R. Cline, 1999. "Trade and Income Distribution: The Debate and New Evidence," Policy Briefs PB99-07, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    4. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-1393, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Duval, 2002. "Domestic Input Policies in Free Trade Areas with National Asymmetries," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 241-253, Spring.

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