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Are Exports of China, Japan and Korea Diverted in the Major Regional Trading Blocs?

  • Hyun-Hoon Lee
  • Chung Mo Koo
  • Euijeong Park

In recent years China, Japan and Korea, the three major economies in East Asia, have been gearing up their efforts to sign free trade agreements with many different regions and countries. One of the main reasons for this is that they fear that with a regionalism movement rising in every corner of the world, their exports are discriminated against and diverted in the trading blocs of other nations. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate whether this is a real fear. We utilise the gravity equation augmented with dummy variables for regional trading blocs in three different specifications. One is the static, standard gravity model to examine the effect of regional blocs on the 'level' of exports from these three countries in 2003; the second is the fixed effects and random effects panel models for the period 1993-2003; and the third is the dynamic, partial-adjustment model to examine the effect of blocs on the 'changes' in exports between 1993 and 2003. The results show that trade diversion is observed only for China's exports in EU, EFTA and EAEC, but no diversion effect is observed for Japan's and Korea's exports in any of the major trading blocs. On the other hand, trade creation is observed for exports from China in ASEAN, for exports from Japan in ASEAN, CACM, CARICOM, EAEC, EU and NAFTA, and for exports from Korea in ASEAN, CACM, EAEC and MERCOSUR. Thus, Japan's and Korea's fear of discrimination and trade diversion is ungrounded, while China's fear is grounded only to a limited extent. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 31 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (07)
Pages: 841-860

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:31:y:2008:i:7:p:841-860
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