Big-Think Regionalism: A Critical Survey
Small Think Regionalism focused on the Vinerian question: "Would a nation gain from joining a trade bloc?" Big Think Regionalism considers regionalism's systemic impact on the world trading system, focusing mainly on two questions: "Does spreading regionalism harm world welfare?" and "Does regionalism help or hinder multilateralism?" This paper synthesizes 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.
I would like to thank the follows scholars for comments and suggestions: Caroline Freund, Antoni Estevadeordal, Kati Suominen, Nuno Limao, Richard Pomfret, Alan Winters, Patrick Low and all the economists in the WTO Research Department, and the IADB's Trade and Integration Sector. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.