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Spaghetti regionalism

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  • Caroline L. Freund

Abstract

This paper examines the welfare implications of multiple free trade agreements in a model of imperfect competition. We show that free trade is the unique Nash equilibrium under the simple rule that any two countries can form a bilateral free trade agreement. Specifically, a country is always better off forming a bilateral trade agreement with every other country, irrespective of previous agreements. This suggests that each new preferential free trade agreement may be a step towards multilateral free trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline L. Freund, 2000. "Spaghetti regionalism," International Finance Discussion Papers 680, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:680
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2000/680/default.htm
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/2000/680/ifdp680.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Tariff Protection and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 517, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    3. Wilfred J. Ethier, 1998. "Regionalism in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1214-1245, December.
    4. 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.
    5. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 5, pages 53-66 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. 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.
    7. Freund, Caroline, 2000. "Multilateralism and the endogenous formation of preferential trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 359-376, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Baldwin, Richard, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Sang-Seung, Yi, 1996. "Endogenous formation of customs unions under imperfect competition: open regionalism is good," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 153-177, August.
    11. 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.
    12. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
    13. de Melo, Jaime & Montenegro, Claudio & Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "Regional integration, old and new," Policy Research Working Paper Series 985, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Furusawa, Taiji & Konishi, Hideo, 2007. "Free trade networks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 310-335, July.
    2. Ibarra-Yunez, Alejandro, 2003. "Spaghetti regionalism or strategic foreign trade: some evidence for Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 567-584, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Free trade ; International trade;

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