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A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas

  • Bond, Eric W.
  • Riezman, Raymond G.
  • Syropoulos, Constantinos

AbstractWe construct a three-country model to determine how the formation of free trade areas (FTAs) affects optimal tariffs and welfare. We find that, at constant rest of the world (ROW) tariffs, the adoption of internal free trade induces union members to reduce their external tariffs below the Kemp-Wan [J. Int. Econom. 6 (1976) 95-97] level, and causes ROW's terms of trade to improve and its welfare to rise. When ROW also behaves optimally, its policy response to the formation of the FTA is to raise tariffs. Generally, FTA members prefer to liberalize internal trade partially and find regional integration appealing only if their collective size is sufficiently large. We also demonstrate how FTAs may undermine the attainment of global free trade.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:64:y:2004:i:1:p:1-27
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  1. M. Ayhan Kose & Raymond Riezman, 1999. "Understanding the Welfare Implications of Preferential Trade Agreements," CSGR Working papers series 45/99, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  2. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  3. Bond, E.W. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inte-regional Cooperation," Papers 5-93-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. McLaren, John, 1997. "Size, Sunk Costs, and Judge Bowker's Objection to Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 400-420, June.
  5. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  6. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1999. "Customs Unions and Comparative Advantage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 239-66, April.
  7. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
  8. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 707-27, July.
  9. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
  10. Kennan, John & Riezman, Raymond, 1988. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 81-85, February.
  11. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
  12. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 5, pages 53-66 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  13. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
  14. 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.
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