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Proliferating Regional Trade Arrangements: Why and Whither?

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  • Jong-Wha Lee

    (Korea University)

  • Innwon Park

    (Korea University)

  • Kwanho Shin

    (Korea University)

Abstract

This paper investigates why regional trade arrangements (RTAs) are proliferating extensively and how the effects of multiple RTAs, by interacting with each other, evolve over time. Our empirical analysis, based on an extended gravity model utilizing a large panel data set of 175 countries from 1948 to 1999, shows that RTAs on average increase global trade by raising intra-bloc trade without damaging extra-bloc trade. The net trade effects, however, heavily depend on the types of RTA strategic evolution over time, which we group as ¡°expansionary¡± RTAs, ¡°duplicate¡± RTAs or ¡°overlapping¡± RTAs. We find that countries excluded from an RTA can benefit more from duplicating a separate RTA than from joining an existing RTA. This result explains why the number of bilateral trade blocs, rather than the membership size of existing RTAs, is currently exploding. We also find that the net trade creation effects of RTAs are substantially lower for countries participating in overlapping RTAs. This result suggests that it is less likely that the currently proliferating RTAs will completely merge and lead the world economy to global free trade. Our empirical results are robust to controlling for the characteristics of countries that may influence the impact of RTAs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jong-Wha Lee & Innwon Park & Kwanho Shin, 2005. "Proliferating Regional Trade Arrangements: Why and Whither?," International Trade 0501010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0501010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cipollina & Luca Salvatici, 2010. "Reciprocal Trade Agreements in Gravity Models: A Meta-Analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 63-80, February.
    2. Innwon Park & Soonchan Park, 2009. "Free Trade Agreements versus Customs Unions: An Examination of East Asia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 8(2), pages 119-139, Spring.
    3. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Nuttawut, Laksanapanyakul & Yoshimi, Taiyo, 2018. "Tariff scheme choice," IDE Discussion Papers 684, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    4. Juyoung Cheong & Do Won Kwak & Kam Ki Tang, 2015. "Can Trade Agreements Curtail Trade Creation and Prevent Trade Diversion?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 221-238, May.
    5. Tarlok Singh, 2010. "Does International Trade Cause Economic Growth? A Survey," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1517-1564, November.
    6. Kawai, Masahiro & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 2014. "Trade Policy and Growth in Asia," ADBI Working Papers 495, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    7. Innwon Park, 2009. "Regional Trade Agreements in East Asia: Will They Be Sustainable? ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 169-194, June.
    8. repec:col:000152:016065 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Hongshik Lee & Innwon Park, 2007. "In Search of Optimised Regional Trade Agreements and Applications to East Asia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 783-806, May.
    10. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:501-513 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lee, Jong-Wha & Shin, Kwanho, 2006. "Does regionalism lead to more global trade integration in East Asia?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-301, December.
    12. Salvador Gil-Pareja, 2011. "Do nonreciprocal preference regimes increase exports?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1561, European Regional Science Association.
    13. Amita Batra, 2006. "Asian Economic Integration ASEAN+3+1 or ASEAN+1s?," Trade Working Papers 22143, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    14. Salvatore, Dominick, 2009. "The challenges to the liberal trading system," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 593-599, July.
    15. Salvador Gil-Pareja & Rafael Llorca-Vivero & José Antonio Martínez-Serrano, 2016. "A Re-Examination of the Effect of GATT/WTO on Trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 561-584, July.
    16. Innwon Park, 2006. "East Asian Regional Trade Agreements: Do They Promote Global Free Trade?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 547-568, December.
    17. Renuka Mahadevan & John Asafu-Adjaye, 2013. "Unilateral Liberalisation or Trade Agreements: Which Way Forward for the Pacific?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(10), pages 1355-1372, October.
    18. Cardamone, Paola, 2007. "A Survey of the Assessments of the Effectiveness of Preferential Trade Agreements using Gravity Models," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 60(4), pages 421-473.
    19. Salvador Gil & Rafael Llorca & J. Antonio Martínez-Serrano, 2008. "Assessing the Enlargement and Deepening of the European Union," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1253-1272, September.
    20. Gil-Pareja, Salvador & Llorca-Vivero, Rafael & Martínez-Serrano, José Antonio, 2008. "Trade effects of monetary agreements: Evidence for OECD countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 733-755, May.
    21. Richard Pomfret, 2009. "Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific Region: How Wide, How Deep?," School of Economics Working Papers 2009-31, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    22. Gil-Pareja, Salvador & Llorca-Vivero, Rafael & Martínez-Serrano, José Antonio, 2014. "Do nonreciprocal preferential trade agreements increase beneficiaries' exports?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 291-304.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    RTA; Global Trade; Regional Trade; Trade Creation; Trade Diversion;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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