Open Regionalism and World Welfare
The recent resurgence of regionalism has raised concerns that regionalism may undermine the spirit of global free trade. This paper examines a simple four-country model of welfare-maximizing customs-union formation in which the number of customs union: and their sizes are endogenously determined. Customs unions are stepping stones toward global free trade under the open membership (open regionalism) rule. However, customs unions can be (and typically are) stumbling blocks against global free trade under exclusive membership rules, such as the unanimous regionalism rule.
Volume (Year): 22 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
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96-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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