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Bilateral Trade Agreements and the Feasibility of Multilateral Free Trade

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  • Kamal Saggi
  • Halis Murat Yildiz

Abstract

This paper compares stable Nash equilibria of two games of trade liberalization. In the FTA game, each country can form an FTA with either one of its trade partners, or both of them, or none of them. By contrast, in the No FTA game, each country must choose either no agreement or free trade. Under symmetry, free trade is uniquely stable under the No FTA game whereas the FTA game also admits a bilateral FTA as an equilibrium. However, there exist patterns of cost asymmetry for which the freedom to pursue bilateral FTAs is necessary for achieving global free trade.
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  • Kamal Saggi & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2011. "Bilateral Trade Agreements and the Feasibility of Multilateral Free Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(2), pages 356-373, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:356-373
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    Cited by:

    1. Seidmann, Daniel J., 2009. "Preferential trading arrangements as strategic positioning," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 143-159, September.
    2. Moise Nken & Halis Murat Yildiz, 2017. "Implications of multilateral tariff bindings on the formation of preferential trade agreements and quest for global free trade," Working Papers 068, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
    3. Jin Zhang & Licun Xue & Lei Zu, 2013. "Farsighted free trade networks," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(2), pages 375-398, May.
    4. Danilo R. Trupkin, 2010. "On the Viability of a Multilateral Trade Agreement: A Political-Economy Approach," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1001, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Antras, Pol & Helpman, Elhanan, 2007. "Negotiating free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-30, September.
    6. Gene M. Grossman, 2016. "The Purpose of Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 22070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Caroline Freund, 2010. "Third‐country Effects of Regional Trade Agreements," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1589-1605, November.
    8. Yasunori Okumura, 2015. "Free Trade Networks on Non-tariff Barriers," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 223-238, September.
    9. Stoyanov, Andrey & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2015. "Preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization and the role of political economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 140-164.
    10. Kawabata, Yasushi, 2015. "Endogenous formation of free trade agreements in vertically related markets," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 214-223.
    11. Saggi, Kamal & Wong, Woan Foong & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2017. "Preferential Trade Agreements and Rules of the Multilateral Trading System," MPRA Paper 76330, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Alejandro Caparrós & Jean-Christophe Péreau, 2017. "Multilateral versus sequential negotiations over climate change," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 365-387.
    13. Antoni Estevadeordal & Caroline Freund & Emanuel Ornelas, 2008. "Does Regionalism Affect Trade Liberalization Toward Nonmembers?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1531-1575.
    14. Denis Medvedev, 2010. "Preferential trade agreements and their role in world trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(2), pages 199-222, June.
    15. Andrey Stoyanov, 2016. "Regional Trade Agreements and Cross-border Lobbying: Empirical Evidence from the Canada–US Free Trade Agreement Negotiations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 126-149, February.
    16. James Lake, 2017. "Free Trade Agreements As Dynamic Farsighted Networks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 31-50, January.
    17. Valdivieso, Andres & McSweeney, Peter & Esparon, Nanette M., 2011. "The Australia-Chile free trade agreement and prospects for trade in fresh fruit: the cherry industry," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 19.
    18. Abdessalem Abbassi & Lota D. Tamini & Ahlem Dakhlaoui, 2013. "Production Cost Asymmetry, Minimum Access and Reciprocal Dumping," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2013-7, CREATE.
    19. Jorzik, Nathalie & Mueller-Langer, Frank, 2013. "Multilateral Stability and Efficiency of Trade Agreements: A Network Formation Approach," Discussion Papers in Economics 14587, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    20. World Bank, 2005. "Global Economic Prospects 2005 : Trade, Regionalism and Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14783, June.
    21. Halis Murat Yildiz, 2014. "Hub and spoke trade agreements under oligopoly with asymmetric costs," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 97-110, February.
    22. Asif Efrat, 2016. "Promoting trade through private law: Explaining international legal harmonization," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 311-336, September.
    23. Saggi, Kamal & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2010. "Bilateralism, multilateralism, and the quest for global free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 26-37, May.
    24. Andrey Stoyanov, 2014. "Endogenous Free Trade Agreements and Foreign Lobbying," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 561-577, August.
    25. Fumi Kiyotaki & Toshiji Miyakawa, 2013. "Barriers to Global Free Trade through Bilateral Agreements," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 536-548, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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