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Sequencing Regionalism: Theory, European Practice, and Lessons for Asia


  • Baldwin, Richard E.

    () (The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies)


Feedback mechanisms are the key to sequencing when it comes to regional integration; can mean that today’s policy or institution alters the political-economy landscape in a way that makes it politically optimal for future governments to take further steps toward integration—even when these steps are not politically optimal from today’s perspective. After outlining the theory, the paper uses feedback mechanisms to organize Europe’s postwar integration narrative, and then draws lessons for today’s integration of East Asia. The paper suggests that the spontaneous cooperation that created “Factory Asia” has not been codified. One starting point for Asian regional institutions would be to institutionalize the spontaneous cooperation that already exists on trade, services, and investment. New, creative thinking is needed on the sort of soft-law commitments and new modes of cooperation that would make this work with limited sovereignty pooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Baldwin, Richard E., 2011. "Sequencing Regionalism: Theory, European Practice, and Lessons for Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 80, Asian Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbrei:0080

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1995. "European Integration and the Regionalization of World Trade and Currencies: The Economics and the Politics," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233413, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
    2. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid & Jan I. Haaland, 1996. "Investment Creation and Diversion in Europe," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(6), pages 635-659, November.
    3. Prema-Chandra Athukorala, 2008. "Singapore And Asean In The New Regional Division Of Labor," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 53(03), pages 479-508.
    4. Yap, Josef T. & Majuca, Ruperto P. & Park, Cyn-Young, 2010. "The 2008 Financial Crisis and Potential Output in Asia: Impact and Policy Implications," Discussion Papers DP 2010-11, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    5. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
    6. Philippa Dee, 2007. "East Asian Economic Integration and its Impact on Future Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 405-423, March.
    7. Richard Baldwin, 1993. "A Domino Theory of Regionalism," NBER Working Papers 4465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. S. Brock Blomberg & Jeffry Frieden & Ernesto Stein, 2005. "Sustaining fixed rates: The political economy of currency pegs in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 8, pages 203-225, November.
    9. Dr. Mitsuyo ANDO & Dr. Fukunari Kimura, 2009. "Fragmentation in East Asia: Further Evidence," Working Papers DP-2009-20, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    10. Richard Baldwin & Virginia DiNino & Lionel Fontagné & Roberto A. De Santis & Daria Taglioni, 2008. "Study on the Impact of the Euro on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 321, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    11. Baldwin, Richard Edward & Rieder , Roland, 2007. "A Test of Endogenous Trade Bloc Formation Theory on EU Data," East Asian Economic Review, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, vol. 11(2), pages 77-110, December.
    12. Greenaway, David & Morgan, Wyn & Wright, Peter, 2002. "Trade liberalisation and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 229-244, February.
    13. Christian Broda & John Romalis, 2011. "Identifying the Relationship Between Trade and Exchange Rate Volatility," NBER Chapters,in: Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20, pages 79-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Danne, 2015. "Regional Integration and the Rule of Law," FIW Working Paper series 157, FIW.

    More about this item


    sequencing regionalism; lessons of European integration; East Asian integration; regionalism;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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