DP6874 Big-Think Regionalism: a Critical Survey

Author(s): Richard Baldwin
Publication Date: June 2008
Keyword(s): Multilateralism, Regionalism, Stumbling and building blocks, World trade system
JEL(s): F02, F13, F15
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6874

Economic thinking on regionalism has traditionally focused on the Vinerian question: Would a nation gain from joining a trade bloc? Since 1991, "Big Think Regionalism" considers the broader question of regionalism?s impact on the world trading system focusing on two questions: Does spreading regionalism harm world welfare? and Does regionalism help or hinder multilateralism? This paper syntheses and critiques the theoretical literature in an attempt to identify the insights that are useful for thinking about regionalism?s systemic impact in the new century.