IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/4465.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Domino Theory of Regionalism

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Baldwin

Abstract

Regional liberalization sweeps the globe like wildfire while multilateral trade talks proceed at a glacial pace. Why are countries eager to liberalize regionally but reluctant to do so multilaterally? The answer of the GATT-is-dead school is that multilateralism is too cumbersome for contemporary trade issues. This paper proposes a very different answer. Recent regionalism is caused by two idiosyncratic events multiplied by a domino effect. The triggering events – the U.S.-Mexico FTA and the EC's 1992 programme – had nothing to do with GATT's health. The domino effect is simple. Political equilibria, which balance anti- and pro-membership forces, determine governments' stances on regional liberalization. Domestic exporters to regional blocs are a powerful pro-membership constituency. An event that triggers closer integration within an existing bloc harms the profits of nonmember exporters, thus stimulating them to boost their pro-membership political activity. The extra activity alters the political equilibrium, leading some countries to join. This enlargement further harms nonmember exporters since they now face a disadvantage in a greater number of markets. This second round effect brings forth more pro-membership political activity and a further enlargement of the bloc. The new political equilibrium is marked by larger regional trading blocs. In the meantime regionalism appears to spread like wildfire.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4465
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4465.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    3. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    4. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pao-Li Chang, 2002. "Endogenous Tariff Formation with Intra-Industry Trade," Working Papers 476, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    2. Stephen J. Redding, 2013. "Economic Geography: A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Daniel Bernhofen & Rod Falvey & David Greenaway & Udo Kreickemeier (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of International Trade, chapter 16, pages 497-531, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Hazel Parcon, 2008. "Disaggregating PTAs at the Role of International Division of Labor on PTA Formation," Working Papers 200806, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Chang, Pao-Li, 2005. "Protection for sale under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 509-526, July.
    5. Rauscher, Michael, 2001. "International trade, foreign investment, and the environment," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 29, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    6. Enrico Marvasi, 2013. "Protection for Sale, Monopolistic Competition and Variable Markups," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_11.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    7. Masashige Hamano & Pierre M. Picard, 2017. "Extensive and intensive margins and exchange rate regimes," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(3), pages 804-837, August.
    8. Bin, Sheng, 2000. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy in China," Working Papers 10/2000, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Management, Politics & Philosophy.
    9. Redding, Stephen J. & Weinstein, David E., 2016. "A unified approach to estimating demand and welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67681, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Thorsten Wichmann, 1996. "The "Information Highway" and the Location of Economic Activity," Berlecon Research Papers 0003, Berlecon Research.
    11. Yang, Yong, 2012. "Agglomeration density and tourism development in China: An empirical research based on dynamic panel data model," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1347-1359.
    12. Greenaway, David & Torstensson, Johan, 2000. "Economic Geography, Comparative Advantage and Trade within Industries: Evidence from the OECD," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 15, pages 260-280.
    13. Matthias Firgo & Peter Mayerhofer, 2015. "Wissens-Spillovers und regionale Entwicklung - welche strukturpolitische Ausrichtung optimiert des Wachstum?," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 144, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    14. Picard, Pierre M. & Toulemonde, Eric, 2006. "Firms agglomeration and unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 669-694, April.
    15. Carl Gaigné & Jacques-François Thisse, 2013. "New Economic Geography and the City," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 13-02, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
    16. Rosser, J. Jr., 1996. "Development, geography, and economic theory : Paul Krugman (The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1995) pp. iii + 117, index, $20.00," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 450-454, December.
    17. Chad P. Bown, 2010. "China's WTO Entry: Antidumping, Safeguards, and Dispute Settlement," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 281-337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. BEHRENS, Kristian, 2004. "Market size and urban hierarchy," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2004029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    19. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:6:y:2008:i:43:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Mark Thissen & Narisra Limtanakool & Hans Hilbers, 2011. "Road pricing and agglomeration economies: a new methodology to estimate indirect effects applied to the Netherlands," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 543-567, December.
    21. Toshihiro Atsumi, 2017. "Agglomeration under money illusion," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(4), pages 2962-2969.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F01 - International Economics - - General - - - Global Outlook
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4465. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.