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Free trade areas, the limit of Rules of Origin, and optimal tariff reductions under international oligopoly: A welfare analysis

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  • Yang-Ming Chang
  • Renfeng Xiao

Abstract

In this article we analyze the economic effects associated with preferential Rules of Origin (RoO) in a free trade area (FTA). By presenting a stylized three-country model of trade under oligopoly, we show that there exists a maximum limit of RoO below which forming an FTA is welfare-improving. In examining external tariff reductions under FTA, we take into account the constrained conditions that optimal tariffs set by member countries effectively induce the intrabloc exporters to comply with RoO. This approach rules out trade regime switches and helps identify the economic determinants of establishing an effective and welfare-improving FTA with RoO. We further examine whether an FTA with RoO increases total trade or whether the extra trade arises at the expense of nonmembers. Our simple model has implications for economic factors that foster or impede regional economic integration under imperfect completion.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang-Ming Chang & Renfeng Xiao, 2013. "Free trade areas, the limit of Rules of Origin, and optimal tariff reductions under international oligopoly: A welfare analysis," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 694-728, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:22:y:2013:i:5:p:694-728 DOI: 10.1080/09638199.2011.627443
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    Cited by:

    1. Jinji, Naoto & Mizoguchi, Yoshihiro, 2016. "Rules of origin and technology spillovers from foreign direct investment under international duopoly," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 47-60.
    2. Mizuno, Tomomichi & Takauchi, Kazuhiro, 2013. "Rules of origin and uncertain cost of compliance," MPRA Paper 44431, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Naoto Jinji & Yoshihiro Mizoguchi, 2016. "Optimal Rules of Origin with Asymmetric Compliance Costs under International Duopoly," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-24, March.

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