The Economics of International Integration

The Economics of International Integration

The Economics of International Integration

The Economics of International Integration

Synopsis

This new edition has been completely revised to reflect the latest developments L in the past decade and current policy initiatives. It is an accessible introduction to the economics of regional integration among nation states.

Excerpt

This book sets out to provide a concise and accessible introduction to the economics of international integration. Its main concern is with the analytical framework that has been developed for throwing light on the central policy issues of regionalism, both from the standpoint of the group, and from that of its component member states. Global and systemic implications of regional integration are largely left aside. At the core of the subject is the theory of customs unions that originated in the writings of Jacob Viner and others half a century ago. That theory remains basic, but it is only one part of the apparatus that is required today to analyse the many issues that arise in contemporary forms of regional economic integration. These go far beyond those addressed in the traditional theory of customs unions or free trade areas and concern not only those that arise in common markets but also others posed by policy integration in other key areas, notably taxation and fiscal and monetary policy. the analysis of the distributional aspects of integration in its spatial dimension, largely ignored in orthodox theory, has also become an important component of the subject.

During the past decade or so, substantial changes have taken place in the analysis of regional integration. One of the most important is that, in its analysis of welfare gains, the traditional perfect competition approach has been supplemented by models that allow for imperfect competition, economies of scale and product differentiation. This development has considerably modified the views of economists both on the rationale for regional integration and its gains. Scale economies both internal to the firm and external are also central to newer models of the spatial aspects of integration. the embodiment of these and other, newer currents of thought into the analysis of international integration is not yet fully consolidated. This revised edition reflects central elements of

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