This policy research report analyzes both the political and economic benefits of regional trade blocs. It argues that the benefits can sometimes be illusory and that careful economic choices have to be made if the schemes are to bring benefits. Trade-offs faced in these choices are analyzed, and the design of successful blocs is studied. The focus of the book is on policy choices for developing countries, taking into account wider issues about the effect of trade blocs on the world trading system.
The principal authors of this report were Paul Collier, Maurice Schiff, Anthony Venables, and L. Alan Winters. The report draws on the findings of a large research project on regional integration led by Maurice Schiff and L. Alan Winters, who, with Bernard Hoekman, prepared the first draft of the report.
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