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Regional integration and production location: what theories (do not) tell us


  • Scoppola, Margherita


There is broad empirical evidence showing that regional integration considerably influences the choice of firms over the location of production; nevertheless, the theoretical literature on this issue is rather limited. Traditional preferential trade theory does not include the driving force of these changes, that is, economies of scale. The paper surveys recent contributions from the new economic geography and the multinational enterprise literature addressing the issue of the effects of preferential trade, with the aim of examining the main features of the models, and assessing their predictions and policy implications critically. The paper shows, among other things, that the findings are often contradictory, depending upon the underlying hypotheses of the models used. Overall, there is a need of further research on the welfare implications of preferential trade agreements when location effects are considered; policy implications may be relevant, especially for small countries joining preferential trade areas with the expectation of benefiting from the location of economic activity in their territory.

Suggested Citation

  • Scoppola, Margherita, 2006. "Regional integration and production location: what theories (do not) tell us," Working Papers 18862, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:tragwp:18862

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    2. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
    3. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
    4. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sylvie Montout & Habib Zitouna, 2005. "Does North-South Integration Affect Multinational Firms' Strategies?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 485-500, August.
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