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Confirming the status quo: the political economy of EU-ACP economic partnership agreements

Cheong, Darren and Kim, Soo Yeon (2022) Confirming the status quo: the political economy of EU-ACP economic partnership agreements. Journal of European Public Policy, 29 (3). 448 - 467. ISSN 1350-1763

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1869806


This paper examines how the European Union's good governance initiatives under its sustainable development agenda affect ratification of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. The theoretical framework argues that the likelihood of ratification is influenced by adjustment costs a signatory faces in implementing EPA provisions. We focus on the level of corruption as indicative of adjustment costs. In partner countries where corruption is high, EPAs that stipulate the lowering of tariffs and improved sustainability standards would clash with the interests of ACP elites and result in hefty adjustment costs. Empirical analysis of 78 ACP countries supports this argument. Results show that the likelihood of EPA ratification is lower in ACP countries with high levels of corruption. They support prevailing theories of self-selection into international agreements, where a given signatory is more likely to ratify agreements close to its institutional status quo.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 11:03

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