Energy Market Integration and Economic Convergence: Implications for East Asia
Energy Market Integration (EMI) has been pursued by East Asian countries in recent years, but how it could play a role in facilitating economic growth of countries in the region remains to be an empirical question. This paper uses the economic convergence analysis (including both the σ-convergence and β-convergence approaches) to examine the impact of EMI - measured by two newly constructed indexes (namely, the energy trade index and the energy market competition index) - at the country level, on dynamic economic growth path across countries, with a special interest to inform policy makings related to promoting EMI among East Asian countries. The result shows that a more integrated energy market may significantly reduce income disparity across countries and thus help poor countries to catch up with rich countries in economic development. Moreover, a comparison among the three regions including EU, NAFTA and EAS shows that EAS countries are more likely to achieve economic convergence along with the construction of EMI process. An important policy implication is that less developed countries in the EAS region can increase benefits from actively participating into the EMI process.
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