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Intra-Regional Trade in East Asia: The Decoupling Fallacy, Crisis, and Policy Challenges

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  • Prema-chandra Athukorala

    ()

  • Archanun Kohpaiboon

    ()

Abstract

This paper examines the export experience of East Asian economies in the aftermaths of the global financial crisis against the backdrop of pre-crisis trade patterns. The analysis is motivated by the ‘decoupling’ thesis, which was a popular theme in the Asian policy circles in the lead-up to the onset of the recent financial crisis, and aims to probe three key issues: Was the East Asian trade integration story that underpinned the decoupling thesis simply a statistical artifact or the massive export contraction caused by an overreaction of traders to the global economic crisis and/or by the drying up of trade credit, which overpowered the cushion provided by intra-regional trade? What are the new policy challenges faced by the East Asian economies? Is there room for an integrated policy response that marks a clear departure from the pre-crisis policy stance favoring export-oriented growth? The findings caution against a possible policy backlash against openness to foreign trade arising from the new-found enthusiasm for rebalancing growth, and make a strong case for a long-term commitment to non-discriminatory multilateral and unilateral trade liberalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Prema-chandra Athukorala & Archanun Kohpaiboon, 2009. "Intra-Regional Trade in East Asia: The Decoupling Fallacy, Crisis, and Policy Challenges," Departmental Working Papers 2009-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2009-09
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichengreen, Barry, 2009. "The financial crisis and global policy reforms," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct, pages 299-334.
    2. Dilip K. Das, 2012. "How did the Asian economy cope with the global financial crisis and recession? A revaluation and review," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 7-25, January.
    3. Park, Donghyun & Shin, Kwanho, 2010. "Can Trade with the People’s Republic of China Be an Engine of Growth for Developing Asia ," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 27(1), pages 160-181.
    4. Siow Yue Chia, 2010. "Regional Trade Policy Cooperation and Architecture in East Asia," Trade Working Papers 22029, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    5. de Truchis, Gilles & Keddad, Benjamin, 2013. "Southeast Asian monetary integration: New evidences from fractional cointegration of real exchange rates," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 394-412.
    6. Kimura, Fukunari & Obashi, Ayako, 2011. "Production Networks in East Asia: What We Know So Far," ADBI Working Papers 320, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    7. Eleonora Cutrini & Giorgio Galeazzi, 2012. "Can emerging economies decouple from the US business cycle?," Working Papers 41-2012, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Jul 2014.
    8. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Archanun Kohpaiboon, 2013. "Global Production Sharing, Trade Patterns and Industrialization in Southeast Asia," Departmental Working Papers 2013-18, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    9. Peter Draper & Andreas Freytag & Sören Scholvin & Luong Thanh Tran, 2016. "Is a ‘Factory Southern Africa’ Feasible?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23788, The World Bank.
    10. Hamanaka Shintaro, 2012. "Trends of Trade Interdependence and Prolifiration of FTAs in Asia: 1980-2010," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-23, June.
    11. Park, Yung Chul, 2011. "The Global Financial Crisis: Decoupling of East Asia—Myth or Reality?," ADBI Working Papers 289, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    12. Pomfret, Richard, 2014. "European crises and the Asian economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31, pages 71-81.
    13. repec:ilo:ilowps:459401 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:wsi:ceprxx:v:02:y:2013:i:02:n:s1793969013500088 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jayant Menon, 2013. "Can FTAs Support the Growth or Spread of International Production Networks in Asia?," Departmental Working Papers 2013-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    16. James J. Wang & Michael C.B. Cheng, 2015. "Mature hub ports in the free trade environment, the way forward from a global supply chain perspective: an Asian case," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 436-458, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    production networks; trade patterns; global financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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