Regionalism in a Multilateral World

Recent regional initiatives have been addressed from a Vinerian perspective of regional integration as a combination of trade creation and trade diversion. This is true both of policy-oriented economists, who tend to be critical of the initiatives, and of theorists, who have added dynamic and game-theoretic elements to the Vinerian tructure. This paper describes the stylized facts of much recent regional integration, and develops an alternative model. The analysis suggests that regional integration, far from threatening multilateral liberalism, may in fact be a direct consequence of the success of past multilatera1ism and an added guarantee for its survival.

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