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Regionalism versus Multilateralism

Listed author(s):
  • Winters, L. Alan

This paper examines the theoretical arguments and historical evidence about whether regionalism undermines the multilateral trading system. It first considers how to define multilateralism and then surveys over 60 recent contributions to the literature. It classifies theoretical models by four criteria: their assumed objective functions (national welfare versus pressure group interests); symmetric versus asymmetric models; one-off versus repeated games; and how they determine post-integration policies. It finds significant theoretical arguments and historical evidence on both sides of the debate. Very tentative conclusions include that regionalism may: help to liberalize very restrictive trade regimes; increase the vulnerability of less restrictive ones to break down; and be more likely to be harmful if governments are subject to sector-specific lobbying forces.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1525.

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Date of creation: Nov 1996
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1525
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Antonio Spilimbergo & Ernesto Stein, 1996. "The Welfare Implications of Trading Blocs among Countries with Different Endowments," NBER Working Papers 5472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jackson, J.H., 1991. "The European Community and World Trade: The Commercial Policy Dimension," Working Papers 298, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Collie, David R, 1997. "Bilateralism Is Good: Trade Blocs and Strategic Export Subsidies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 504-520, October.
  4. Widgren, Mika, 1995. " Probabilistic Voting Power in the EU Council: The Cases of Trade Policy and Social Regulation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 345-356, June.
  5. Rodney D. Ludema, 1998. "On the Value of Preferential Trade Agreements in Multilateral Negotiations," International Trade 9802003, EconWPA.
  6. Gatsios, Konstantine & Karp, Larry, 1995. "Delegation in a general equilibrium model of customs unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 319-333, February.
  7. Carsten Kowalczyk & Tomas Sjostrom, 1993. "Bringing GATT into the Core," NBER Working Papers 4343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 1990. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 70-83, February.
  10. Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 2000. "The new regionalism: trade liberalization or insurance?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-24, February.
  11. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
  12. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "The Politics of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 667-690, September.
  13. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarraga, Marcelo, 1999. "Regional Integration and Lobbying for Tariffs against Nonmembers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 635-657, August.
  14. Sinclair, P. & Vines, D., 1995. "Bigger Trade Blocs Need Not Entail More Protection," Discussion Papers 95-32, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  15. Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Regionalism and the world trading system," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 295-301.
  16. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Winters, L. Alan, 1994. "The EC and protection: The political economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 596-603, April.
  18. Desruelle, Dominique & Richardson, Martin, 1997. "Fortress Europe: Jericho or Chateau d'If?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 32-46, February.
  19. Kyle Bagwell & Robert Staiger, 1994. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation During the Formation of Regional Free Trade Areas," International Trade 9410001, EconWPA.
  20. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
  21. Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation During the Formation of Free Trade Areas," Discussion Papers 1048, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  23. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-519, September.
  24. Winters,L. Alan & Venables,Anthony (ed.), 1993. "European Integration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521435277.
  25. Campa, Jose Manuel & Sorenson, Timothy L, 1996. " Are Trade Blocs Conducive to Free Trade?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 263-273, June.
  26. André Sapir & Alexis Jacquemin, 1988. "European integration or world integration?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8242, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  27. Raymond RIEZMAN, 2013. "Customs Unions and the Core," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 3, pages 33-43 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  28. Levy, Philip I., 1999. "Lobbying and international cooperation in tariff setting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 345-370, April.
  29. Panagariya, Arvind & Findlay, Ronald & DEC, 1994. "A political - economy analysis of free trade areas and customs unions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1261, The World Bank.
  30. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Nov, pages 5-25.
  31. Nitsch, Volker, 1996. "Do Three Trade Blocs Minimize World Welfare?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 355-363, October.
  32. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
  33. Bond, E. & Syropoulos, C., 1993. "Trading Blocs and the Sustainability of Inter-Regional Cooperation," Discussion Papers 93-17, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  34. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Ernesto Stein & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Continental Trading Blocs: Are They Natural, or Super-Natural?," NBER Working Papers 4588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  36. repec:fth:geneec:96.07 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
  38. repec:idb:wpaper:323 is not listed on IDEAS
  39. Ethier, Wilfred, 1996. "Regionalism in a multilateral world," Discussion Papers, Series II 314, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  40. Konstantine Gatsios & Larry Karp, 1991. "Delegation Games in Customs Unions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 391-397.
  41. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
  42. Junichi Goto & Koichi Hamada, 1995. "EU, NAFTA, and Asian Responses: A Perspective from the Calculus of Participation," NBER Working Papers 5325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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