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

The Influence of Economics and Politics on the Structure of World Trade and Investment Flows

Listed author(s):
  • Shiro Armstrong

    (East Asia Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Peter Drysdale

The Asia Pacific region, and especially East Asia, has experienced rapid economic integration without the hard politics of legally binding economic and political treaties, unlike Europe where integration has been institutionled. The soft politics and marketled integration in East Asia set against a background of political tensions and rivalries in key relationships in the region. The paper measures trade and investment performance in the world economy. This allows comparison of bilateral and regional trade and investment flows. A measure of the effect of political distance on both trade and investment flows is also defined. The growth of ChinaJapan trade and investment, despite political distance between the two countries is discussed to highlight and elaborate on key findings. The analysis leads to five conclusions. Multilateral institutions are important in reducing economic and political distance between trading partners. While political relations do affect economic relations, their effect is not important across the vast majority of trading relationships. The important effects of political relations on economic relations come in todays world via international investment rather than through international trade. East Asian economies are leading trade and economic integration, measured in terms of their trade and investment performance and their impact on global trade and investment frontiers. Finally, of all the major regional groupings, APEC and ASEAN stand out as arrangements in which there has been no trade diversion, unlike the other formal regional groupings such as NAFTA and the EU in which trade diversion is measurable. The paper finds an APEC effect, explains how economics can dominate politics in international economic relations and recommends priority to strengthening regional and international investment regimes to help ameliorate the likely effects of politics on economic integration in the future.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series EABER Working Papers with number 22762.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:eab:wpaper:22762
Contact details of provider: Postal:
JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Philippa Dee, 2006. "Multinational Corporations and Pacific Regionalism," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 358, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:eab:wpaper:22762. 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: (Shiro Armstrong)

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.