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A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas

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

Abstract

We 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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Suggested Citation

  • Bond, Eric W. & Riezman, Raymond G. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2004. "A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-27, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:64:y:2004:i:1:p:1-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.), International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Bond, E.W. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inte-regional Cooperation," Papers 5-93-3, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. M. Ayhan Kose & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Understanding the Welfare Implications of Preferential Trade Agreements," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.),International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 7, pages 85-99, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.), International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 5, pages 53-66, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Constantinos Syropoulos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 707-727.
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    11. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
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    13. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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