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Why do countries pursue bilateral trade agreements: a case study of North America

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  • Michael A. Kouparitsas

Abstract

Current trade theory argues that countries pursue bilateral trade agreements to escape from a terms-of-trade driven prisoners' dilemma. This paper offers an empirical test of the theory. Using simulation results from a quantitative trade model of North America I show that the non-cooperative and cooperative payoffs implicit in the CFTA and NAFTA take on the two essential elements of a prisoners' dilemma. First, my results suggest that irrespective of county size unilateral liberalization makes the liberalizing country worse off, while making its regional trading partner better off. Next, I show that cooperative bilateral agreements make both liberalizing partners better off.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "Why do countries pursue bilateral trade agreements: a case study of North America," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:wp-97-20
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    1. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1998. "Dynamic trade liberalization analysis: steady state, transitional and inter-industry effects," Working Paper Series WP-98-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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    Keywords

    North American Free Trade Agreement;

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