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Preferential trading arrangements as strategic positioning

  • Seidmann, Daniel J.

We analyze a three-country model of trade negotiations in which countries can form bilateral free trade areas, bilateral customs unions or a trilateral preferential trading arrangement, and can continue negotiating after reaching an agreement. In contrast to the literature on multilateral bargaining, the set of agreements can form a (nonpartitional) network, while in contrast to the network literature, players can reach multilateral agreements. Patient enough countries only reach bilateral agreements if insiders gain more than outsiders, which allows them to manipulate the status quo in subsequent negotiations. However, a hub and spoke pattern may then emerge, and insiders then dissipate the advantages of strategic positioning. We also use variants on the model to explain why a US commitment not to bargain bilaterally sustained progress at GATT negotiations, and the rarity of open access preferential trading arrangements.

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

Volume (Year): 79 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 143-159

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:79:y:2009:i:1:p:143-159
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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