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Regional Trade Agreements

  • Richard Pomfret

    (University of Adelaide)

This paper reviews the evolution of thinking about regional trade agreements (RTAs) and the policy developments reflected in three waves of RTAs during the last half century. It rejects claims, based on number of RTAs notified to the WTO, that RTAs are today more prolific than ever. Desirable and undesirable features of RTAs can be identified, but the central message of the theory of second-best about the ambiguity of outcomes remains valid. Describing many RTAs as free trade agreements distorts the meaning of “free trade” and deeper integration in some regions undermines use of the nation state as the central unit of analysis; both make it difficult to determine whether active RTAs are stepping stones or stumbling blocks to improved resource allocation.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/it/papers/0511/0511002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0511002.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 03 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0511002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 20
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Pomfret, Richard, 2005. "Sequencing trade and monetary integration: issues and application to Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 105-124, February.
  2. Richard Pomfret, 2004. "Trade Policies in Central Asia after EU Enlargement and before Russian WTO Accession: Regionalism and Integration into the World Economy," School of Economics Working Papers 2004-13, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," International Finance Discussion Papers 498, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  7. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "War, Peace, and the Size of Countries," Scholarly Articles 4553002, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Patrick Messerlin, 2005. "The Directive on Services: Rent Seekers Strike Back," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8131, Sciences Po.
  10. Crawford, Jo-Ann & Fiorentino, Roberto V., 2005. "The changing landscape of regional trade agreements," WTO Discussion Papers 8, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  11. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "How Far Will International Economic Integration Go?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 177-186, Winter.
  12. Arvind Panagariya & Jagdish Bhagwati, 1996. "The Economics of Preferential Trade Agreements," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 51856, 4.
  13. Richard Pomfret, 2005. "Sequencing Trade and Monetary Integration," Others 0502004, EconWPA.
  14. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
  15. Harry G. Johnson, 1965. "An Economic Theory of Protectionism, Tariff Bargaining, and the Formation of Customs Unions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 256.
  16. Richard Pomfret, 2005. "Currency Areas in Theory and Practice," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 166-176, 06.
  17. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8131 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
  19. Carsten Kowalczyk & Raymond Riezman, 2009. "Trade Agreements," CESifo Working Paper Series 2660, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
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