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Free trade agreements versus customs unions

  • Krueger, Anne O.
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    Until NAFTA, analyses of preferential trading arrangements began by assuming a customs union with a common external tariff, and the differences between customs unions and free trade agreements (FTAs) have been little analyzed. This paper points to some of the differences between FTAs and customs unions, and shows that on welfare grounds a customs union is always Pareto-superior to an FTA. Moreover, the political economy of FTAs will lead to more opposition to further multilateral trade liberalization than will customs unions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBV-3SWSJ71-9/2/f15874d8635430cf3c83b9a4d633cef6
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 54 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 169-187

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:54:y:1997:i:1:p:169-187
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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    1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    2. Deepak Lal, 1993. "Trade Blocs and Multilateral Free Trade," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 349-358, 09.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 1992. "Regional Trade Arrangements," IMF Occasional Papers 93, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Kala Krishna & Anne Krueger, 1995. "Implementing Free Trade Areas: Rules of Origin and Hidden Protection," NBER Working Papers 4983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," NBER Working Papers 4335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
    7. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-19, September.
    8. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
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