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Managing the Noodle Bowl: The Fragility of East Asian Regionalism

Author

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  • Baldwin, Richard E.

    (Graduate Institute of International Studies)

Abstract

The paper argues that East Asian regionalism is fragile because (i) each nation's industrial competitiveness depends on the smooth functioning of "Factory Asia" - in particular for intraregional trade; (ii) the unilateral tariff-cutting that created Factory Asia is not subject to WTO discipline (bindings); (iii) there is no "top-level management"; to substitute for WTO discipline, to ensure that bilateral trade tensions - tensions that are inevitable in East Asia - do not spill over into region-wide problems due to lack of cooperation and communication. This paper argues that the window of opportunity for East Asian vision was missed; what East Asia needs now is management, not vision. East Asia should launch a "New East Asian Regional Management Effort" with a reinforced ASEAN+3 leading the way. The first priority should be to bind the region's unilateral tariff cuts into the WTO.

Suggested Citation

  • Baldwin, Richard E., 2007. "Managing the Noodle Bowl: The Fragility of East Asian Regionalism," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 7, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard E. Baldwin, 1997. "The Causes of Regionalism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(7), pages 865-888, November.
    2. Kimura, Fukunari & Ando, Mitsuyo, 2005. "Two-dimensional fragmentation in East Asia: Conceptual framework and empirics," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 317-348.
    3. Fukao, Kyoji & Ishido, Hikari & Ito, Keiko, 2003. "Vertical intra-industry trade and foreign direct investment in East Asia," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 468-506, December.
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    7. Baldwin, Richard, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    10. Daisuke Hiratsuka, 2011. "Production Networks in Asia : A Case Study from the Hard Disk Drive Industry," Microeconomics Working Papers 23235, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
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    13. Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2005. "International Trade in East Asia," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_05-1.
    14. Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew K. (ed.), 2005. "International Trade in East Asia," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226378961, March.
    15. O. G. Dayaratna Banda & John Whalley, 2005. "Beyond Goods and Services: Competition Policy, Investment, Mutual Recognition, Movement of Persons, and Broader Cooperation Provisions of Recent FTAs involving ASEAN Countries," NBER Working Papers 11232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
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    18. Baldwin,Richard & Haapararanta,Pertti & Kiander,Jaakko (ed.), 1995. "Expanding Membership of the European Union," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521481342, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asian integration; free trade agreement; best practices; Asian development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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