Trade flows: a facet of regionalism or globalisation?
This paper examines the evidence about the extent of globalisation by focusing on some aspects of international trade flows. A reinterpretation of the existing evidence based on the analysis of tables and a range of indicators is provided in the first part of the paper. The focus is on whether the increase in trade flows has been predominantly a global or regional phenomenon. The analysis points to the tentative conclusion that the dominant tendency is the increase in trade within regional blocs (North America, the EU and the Asia--Japan blocs) rather than across them. To address the same question, a more formal analysis is undertaken in the second part of the paper, by focusing on the relative speed of the convergence in openness within and across regions of the world. Our results indicate that the degree of openness converges faster across the countries of a given region rather than at the global level, reinforcing the conclusions from the first part of the paper. The results are consistent with the view that trade integration is more of a 'regional' phenomenon than a 'global' one. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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