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REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND POVERTY: A REVIEW OF THE TRANSMISSION CHANNELS AND THE EVIDENCE

Antonio Martuscelli and Michael Gasiorek

Journal of Economic Surveys, 2019, vol. 33, issue 2, 431-457

Abstract: While there is an extensive literature on the impact of regional trading agreements on trade and capital flows, as well as on the relationship between international trade, growth, and poverty there is comparatively little treatment of the possible linkages between regional integration and poverty. We analyze the channels through which regional integration could impact on poverty, and then review the existing evidence on the impact of regional integration on poverty. We focus on two key characteristics that make any regional integration process different from unilateral and multilateral liberalization: first, the asymmetric nature of the liberalization process; second, the scope or ambition of the regional liberalization being undertaken and the nature of the institutional arrangements that are put into place to manage the process of regional integration. We also distinguish between short, medium, and long run effects on poverty of regional integration processes. There is some direct evidence explicitly linking regional integration and poverty, but in good part the shedding of the light depends on an indirect literature on trade, FDI, migration, and inequality.

Date: 2019
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