Outsiders in Economic Integration: The Case of a Transition Economy
Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
Bocconi University - Department of Economics and Paolo Baffi Centre on Central Banking and Financial Regulation
Luiss University - Department of Economics
Economics of Transition, Vol. 9, No. 1, March 2001
We use a spatial model of endogenous growth to investigate the likely impact of discriminatory integration between two advanced insider countries on their own welfare as well as on the welfare of an outsider transition economy. A first point is that, since convergence in per capita income levels depends on relative market access and local market size, piece-wise integration causes insider-outsider divergence. Nonetheless, outsiders can gain in absolute terms if integration fosters the global growth rate. We also show that exclusion from a regional agreement and on-going transition have unpredictable joint effects on the structural adjustment, which might even exhibit a swinging behaviour. Such swings may imply large adjustment costs, which can be reduced by careful integration design. With this respect, the asymmetric phasing-out of trade barriers built into the Europe Agreements seems to work in the right direction. Finally, we point out that the predictions of the model in terms of direct investment and terms-of-trade dynamics are broadly consistent with some actual developments in transition economies.
Keywords: trade and monetary integration, economic geography, transition economies
JEL Classification: F15, F21, F31, P2, R13Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 23, 2001
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