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Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism

Ornelas, Emanuel ORCID: 0000-0001-8330-8745 (2005) Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism. European Economic Review, 49 (7). pp. 1717-1735. ISSN 0014-2921

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2004.03.010


This paper indicates that the consequences of regional trade agreements for the world trade system may be deceiving—an arrangement's apparent virtue may constitute the source of its drawback. In a model where governments have political, as well as economic, motivations, I show that a free trade area induces its members to reduce protection against the non-members, and to do so sufficiently deeply to generate overall trade creation. Trade creation amplifies the excluded countries’ access to the integrating markets, but also reduces their extra gains from multilateral liberalization. Thus, trade creation can reverse the support of the excluded countries to liberalization on a multilateral basis. This is more likely to happen when governments outside the free trade area are more responsive to special interests.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2005 Elsevier
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
J Political Science > JZ International relations
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F12 - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F13 - Commercial Policy; Protection; Promotion; Trade Negotiations; International Trade Organizations
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F15 - Economic Integration
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2011 16:04
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 21:36

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