The Link between Institutional and Economic Integration: Insights for Latin America from the European Experience
The European experience illustrates that institutional integration interacts with economic integration at the regional level. In this paper we ask how economic and institutional integration are linked and whether there is a causal link between the two. We present an original indicator of institutional integration and study how it developed vis-à-vis diverse measures of economic integration. In particular, we ask what insights can be drawn from the European process of regional integration, which started in the 1950s, for regional integration in Latin America today. We find that Latin America is currently less economically integrated not only than the European Union today, but for certain economic variables even than the European Union in the 1960s. A VAR analysis illustrates that the link between institutional and economic integration has worked both ways throughout the European experience. There is also evidence that stronger institutional integration has indeed led to deeper economic integration.
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