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On the Welfare Implications of Customs Unions in the Presence of Finance Constraints

Theodore Palivos and Chong Yip

Manchester School, 2001, vol. 69, issue 2, 164-78

Abstract: We examine the welfare effects of a customs union on a small monetary economy. The role of money is captured by a generalized cash-in-advance constraint which allows for non-uniform monetization across sectors. This generates a demand-side distortion that results in a discrepancy between the marginal domestic rate of substitution and the world price. We show that, depending on the economy's inflation rate and the difference between the existing and the optimal tariff rate, trade creation may reduce welfare while trade diversion may improve it. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

Date: 2001
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