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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. 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.
  2. Bond, E. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inter-Regional Cooperation," Discussion Papers 93-17, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  3. 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.
  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, Eric W & Syropoulos, Costas & Winters, L. Alan, 2000. "Deepening of Regional Integration and Multilateral Trade Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 2480, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  7. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 1990. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 70-83, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
  10. Kose, M Ayhan & Riezman, Raymond, 2000. "Understanding the Welfare Implications of Preferential Trade Agreements," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 619-33, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1999. "Customs Unions and Comparative Advantage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 239-66, April.
  13. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
  14. 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.
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