IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Should TPP Be Formed? On the Potential Economic, Governance, and Conflict-Reducing Impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Listed author(s):
  • Bergstrand, Jeffrey H.


    (University of Notre Dame)

The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries whose joint gross domestic products (GDPs) account for 36 percent of world GDP and whose mutual trade accounts for approximately 24 percent of world trade. As for most proposed free trade agreements (FTAs), trade economists have provided ex ante computable general equilibrium (CGE) estimates to predict the trade, employment, and real per capita income effects of this agreement, such as ITC (2016). This paper-intended to complement these studies-examines the potential impacts of TPP beyond such traditional CGE estimates, taking a broader economic, governance, and historical perspective. First, we contrast these traditional CGE trade and welfare estimates that treat all firms within an industry as homogeneous with more recent CGE analyses that allow firms' productivities to be heterogeneous. We show that the latter models' trade predictions are much more consistent with ex post empirical evidence of average trade effects of FTAs. Second, empirical evidence now strongly confirms the existence of FTA "contagion." We review this evidence and show that predictive models of the evolution of FTAs indicate that the TPP should be formed. With China now having formed 12 FTAs and negotiating five new ones (including a sixteen member Asia-Pacific FTA), the United States would likely face considerable trade diversion without the TPP. Third, we examine empirical evidence on the likely further economic growth implications of FTAs by reducing firms’ uncertainty over trade relations and trade policies. Fourth, we examine empirical evidence on the additional impact of FTAs on consolidating democratic institutions in countries. The TPP would likely help consolidate some of the less mature democracies. Fifth, we examine empirical evidence on the reductions of conflicts (and enhanced peace) between countries owing to the formations of FTAs. We conclude the paper noting that the potential net benefits to member countries of the proposed TPP extend well beyond the real income gains to households based upon traditional CGE models.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Korea Institute for International Economic Policy in its journal East Asian Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 20 (2016)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 279-309

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ris:eaerev:0006
Contact details of provider: Postal:
[30147] 3rd Floor Building C Sejong National Research Complex 370 Sicheong-daero Sejong-si, Korea

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:eaerev:0006. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Juwon Seo)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.