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Preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization and the role of political economy

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  • Stoyanov, Andrey
  • Yildiz, Halis Murat

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the effect of the freedom to pursue preferential trade liberalization, permitted by Article XXIV of the GATT, on country׳s incentives to participate in multilateral negotiations and on feasibility of global free trade. We present a model, in which countries choose whether to participate in preferential or multilateral trade agreements under political pressures from domestic special interest groups. We show that heterogeneity in political preferences across countries plays an important role in determining the relative merits of preferential and multilateral approaches to trade liberalization. On one hand, the opportunity to liberalize preferentially may be necessary to induce countries with strong political motivations to participate in multilateral free trade negotiations. On the other hand, when countries share similar political preferences, multilateral free trade that would have been politically supported otherwise becomes unattainable if countries can pursue preferential liberalization.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:80:y:2015:i:c:p:140-164
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.09.003
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:117-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Sokolovska, Olena & Sokolovskyi, Dmytro, 2016. "Optimization of government trade behavior and its implication for small developing economy (the case of Ukraine)," MPRA Paper 71983, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Lake, James & Roy, Santanu, 2017. "Are global trade negotiations behind a fragmented world of “gated globalization”?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 117-136.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Free Trade Agreements; Multilateralism; Political economy; Coalition-proof Nash equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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