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Regional Integration And Trade Diversion In Europe

  • Kokko, Ari

    ()

    (European Institute of Japanese Studies)

  • Mathä, Thomas

    ()

    (Central Bank of Luxembourg)

  • Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik

    ()

    (European Institute of Japanese Studies)

This paper re-examines the relation between regional integration and trade by using the framework suggested by Yeats [1998] to analyze the effects of European integration. We identify the industries that experienced the largest increases in regional trade orientation during three phases of European integration, and examine the simultaneous changes in revealed comparative advantages. Our main conclusion is that there are signs of trade diversion for the earliest phase of European integration (1962-1973), when intra-regional trade increased in industries with weak comparative advantages, but not for later time periods. The main reason is that regional integration has coincided with reductions in external trade barriers, improving market access also for outsiders. At the same time, integration has promoted economic growth and import demand, which has been beneficial for outside producers. We also argue that the static concept of trade diversion is not well suited for analyzing modern integration, which aims to raise the comparative advantage of regional producers by promoting scale economies and competition. If successful, it will reduce the market shares of outsiders, but it does not constitute trade diversion: more efficient outsiders are not replaced by less efficient insiders.

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Paper provided by The European Institute of Japanese Studies in its series EIJS Working Paper Series with number 231.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Integration & Trade, 2007, pages 205-246.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:eijswp:0231
Contact details of provider: Postal: The European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-7369360
Fax: +46-8-313017
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/en/Research/Institutes/EIJS/
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  1. Baltagi, Badi H. & Wu, Ping X., 1999. "Unequally Spaced Panel Data Regressions With Ar(1) Disturbances," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(06), pages 814-823, December.
  2. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1995. "Is Regionalism Simply a Diversion? Evidence From the Evolution of the EC and EFTA," NBER Working Papers 5283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Carrere, Celine, 2006. "Revisiting the effects of regional trade agreements on trade flows with proper specification of the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-247, February.
  4. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "Multilateral, Regional, and Bilateral Trade-Policy Options for the United States and Japan," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0112, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  5. Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas F. Rutherford & Tarr,David, 2003. "Rules of thumb for evaluating preferential trading arrangements : evidence from computable general equilibrium assessments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3149, The World Bank.
  6. Forslid, Rikard & Haaland, Jan I. & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 1999. "A U-Shaped Europe? A Simulation Study of Industrial Location," CEPR Discussion Papers 2247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lucian Cernat, 2001. "ASSESSING REGIONAL TRADE ARRANGEMENTS: ARE SOUTH–SOUTH RTAs MORE TRADE DIVERTING?," International Trade 0109001, EconWPA.
  8. Diao, Xinshen & Somwaru, Agapi, 2000. "An Inquiry on General Equilibrium Effects of MERCOSUR--An Intertemporal World Model," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 557-588, September.
  9. Aitken, Norman D, 1973. "The Effect of the EEC and EFTA on European Trade: A Temporal Cross-Section Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(5), pages 881-92, December.
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