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Bilateral versus Multilateral Free Trade Agreements: A Welfare Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Demet Yilmazkuday

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Florida International University)

  • Hakan Yilmazkuday

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Florida International University)

Why do we observe proliferation of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) between certain types of countries instead of having progress in attaining global free trade through a multilateral FTA? We answer this question by exploring the enforceability of di¡èerent types of FTAs through comparing minimum discount factors that are necessary to sustain them in an in?nitely repeated game framework. We also search for the globally welfare maximizing trade agreements that are sustainable under different conditions. The results depict that transportation costs, differences in country sizes and comparative advantages are all obstacles for having a multilateral FTA. Accordingly, international development policies conducted for the removal of such obstacles should be the main goal toward achieving a multilateral FTA, which we show to be the ?rst-best solution to the maximization problem of global welfare.

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File URL: http://economics.fiu.edu/research/working-papers/2014/1401/1401.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Florida International University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1401.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Handle: RePEc:fiu:wpaper:1401
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Web page: http://economics.fiu.edu

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  1. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1997. "Multilateral tariff cooperation during the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 91-123, February.
  2. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  3. Saggi, Kamal & Yildiz, Halis Murat, 2010. "Bilateralism, multilateralism, and the quest for global free trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 26-37, May.
  4. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2004. "Economic determinants of free trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 29-63, October.
  5. Arvind Panagariya, 1998. "Do transport costs justifyregional preferential trading arrangements? no," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(2), pages 280-301, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Wonnacott, Paul & Wonnacott, Ronald, 1981. "Is Unilateral Tariff Reduction Preferable to a Customs Union? The Curious Case of the Missing Foreign Tariffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 704-714, September.
  8. 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.
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