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Economic Integration and Development

Has Regionalism Delivered for Developing Countries?


The intriguing and provocative results on the effects of the single European market and NAFTA make this short book worth a read, even if one is concerned only with how developing countries have been affected by regional trade agreements that do not include them. Peter J. Montiel, Journal of Regional Science This book is an excellent attempt to pin down the effects of regional economic integration on developing countries. . . it will prove to be a good guide for researchers and students of development economics working in the area of regional trading arrangements, and policymakers and governments which are in the process of exploring the possibilities of forming free trade areas. Pravakar Sahoo, Development Policy Review Students interested in either the methodological issues inherent in research on trade or on the economics of trading blocs in general would profit from the book. James J. Hentz, The European Journal of Development Research Questions related to the economics of regionalism became increasingly important beginning in the late 1980s, when regional groupings started to become very popular as a tool of commercial policy. The goal of this book is to address the question of whether or not regionalism in developed countries has truly benefited developing countries and to what degree regionalism among developing countries and between developed and developing countries will improve economic development prospects. Mordechai Kreinin and Michael Plummer consider the implications of the emerging global trend of economic regionalism for developing countries. The analysis focuses on the trade and investment effects of integration in developed countries on developing countries, as well as the ramifications of regional integration in the latter. After an extensive review of the theoretical and empirical literature pertinent to the economics of regionalism, the book considers the ex-post trade and direct-foreign-investment effects of the Single Market Program in Europe and NAFTA, followed by chapters on ASEAN and economic integration in Latin America, primarily MERCOSUR. The study suggests three salient conclusions. First, in designing preferential trading arrangements, developed countries should recognize and attempt to minimize the possible discriminating effect on developing countries. Second, the developing countries have an abiding interest in the success of WTO negotiations that would minimize the discrimination against them of regional groupings in Europe and North America. And third, any customs unions or free-trade areas among the developing countries themselves should be outward-looking if they are to enhance the welfare of developing countries. Economists and policy scholars, as well as readers interested in regionalism and economic development, will find this book a great resource.

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