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Welfare effects of preferential trade agreements under optimal tariffs

  • Saggi, Kamal
  • Yildiz, Halis Murat

In a three country model with endogenous tariffs, this paper evaluates and contrasts the welfare effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) and customs unions (CUs) — the two most commonly occurring preferential trade agreements (PTAs). We show that if the external tariff of a PTA is not too high, it benefits both members and non-members. We also highlight the implications of a key (but commonly ignored) distinction between the two types of PTAs: while an FTA member can form an another (independent) FTA with an existing non-member, a CU member cannot. Under a pair of independent bilateral FTAs, the common member’s welfare is higher than that under free trade. Furthermore, if the common member is relatively efficient compared to the other two countries, such a ‘hub and spoke’ pattern of FTAs can yield higher global welfare than free trade. By contrast, such an outcome is never possible under a CU.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17562/1/MPRA_paper_17562.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17562.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17562
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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. Panagariya, Arvind & Krishna, Pravin, 2002. "On necessarily welfare-enhancing free trade areas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 353-367, August.
  3. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Endogenous free trade agreements and the multilateral trading system," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 471-497, December.
  4. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1997. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation during the Formation of Free Trade Areas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 291-319, May.
  5. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Tariff Protection and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 517, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Pabo Sanguinetti & Alok Bohara & Kishore Guatanabe, 2003. "Trade Diverion and Declinning Tariffs: Evidence from MERCOSUR," Department of Economics Working Papers 003, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  7. Won Chang & L. Alan Winters, 2002. "How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 889-904, September.
  8. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
  9. Cadot, O. & De Melo, J. & Olarreaga, M., 1996. "Regional Integration and Lobbying for Tariffs Against Non-Members," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 96.08, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  10. Bond, Eric W & Syropoulos, Costas & Winters, L. Alan, 2000. "Deepening of Regional Integration and Multilateral Trade Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 2480, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  12. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
  13. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Optimal Tariff Equilibria with Customs Unions," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 5, pages 53-66 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  14. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
  15. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
  16. Eric W. Bond & Raymond G. Riezman & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2013. "A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 8, pages 101-127 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  17. Diego Puga & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Preferential Trading Arrangements and Industrial Location," CEP Discussion Papers dp0267, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  18. Marston, Richard C., 1990. "Pricing to market in Japanese manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 217-236, November.
  19. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  20. Kamal Saggi, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements And Multilateral Tariff Cooperation ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 29-57, 02.
  21. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Varian, Hal R, 1985. "When Are Nash Equilibria Independent of the Distribution of Agents' Characteristics?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 715-18, October.
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